Effectiveness vs Efficiency

You can save time in sales by getting two decision makers in the room at the same time. That is much more efficient than seeing them one at a time. But it is not always the most effective way to handle a sales call. Suppose the two decision makers, both senior VP’s, are being considered for the position of CEO and you get them in a room to discuss your project which is a new software installation. Do you think either one of them will want to open up and tell you all the problems they are having with their rival sitting there listening to every word? I think not. What if I added the HR VP to the mix? In that case it is even less likely for them to open up. You are more likely to get posturing and platitudes than any true expression of the pain they might be in. I had it happen to me. The CEO was willing to move ahead with any training that either one of the VP’s felt they needed. He then called them both into his office together and asked them what they thought the biggest problem with their teams was. One of the VP’s asked if I could meet him privately and the other stated he had no problems that he could think of. The CEO then proceeded to say, “I’ll tell you what the problems are …” and listed several things the VP and his team were not doing. That VP pushed back and got into an argument with his CEO. He was so embarrassed he never wanted to see me again. That’s when the other VP asked to see me privately and he signed up for me to train him and his team. I learned my lesson and never let myself get in that position again.

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