How long?

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 November 4 – Well that’s one disaster out of the way.

You know how it is when the wrong candidate comes into the room at interview and you just think “how long have I got to make this last to be decent?” That’s what this meeting with the sales rep who masqueraded as a bank manager was like.

I didn’t want the usual crap banks try to sell. I wanted a seriously good banking service. And I was not going to get it from this chap or his probably competent but very obviously downtrodden assistant.

The answer to “how long?”  Ninety minutes, I’m afraid in this case. And then the time it took to send a polite “no thank you – you failed to differentiate yourselves from our existing bankers” note.

Onwards and upwards. Perhaps all those who said I shouldn’t be doing this were right.

About The CEO


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By Anonymous
05th Nov 2009 10:09

Double-standards from the CEO?

I'm somewhat hooked on the CEO's Diary and read with avid interest each week.  But lately I find myself becoming increasingly frustrated with his world view.

Fine, you had a banker in who - shock horror - had the cheek to try and sell you something!  No one buys on service or relationship management off the bat because they are unquantifiable in a 90 minute pitch - and so typically you should expect, in any business pitch, to have products and services presented to you. 

A few questions direct to the CEO:  Do you consider yourself to be just a utility to your customers?  Do you avoid ever trying to up- or cross-sell under the guise of 'supporting the customer'?  Do your salespeople have targets to achieve?  I already know the answers to these questions because you are in business - and so is your bank.

The chap you spoke to may not have impressed and that's fair enough.  But you seem to have rather unreasonable expectations about the approach a business has taken with you when you, in all likelihood, take just that approach with others.

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05th Nov 2009 14:59

In fairness to the CEO
I would think pretty much every one of us probably wears a very different hat as a buyer than the one we wear as a seller.

Everyone in a client based business has to be a salesman of sorts but I certainly expect a particular approach from sales people which is very different to the one I adopt myself.

Sales (it seems to me) is something of a mating ritual but sometimes the chemistry just isn't there and you find yourself objecting to the very existence of the other party (at least I do).

Sure it's hypocrisy if you will but we are all of us guilty of it I'd bet.

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By Anonymous
05th Nov 2009 16:16

Know Your Target
If you want to succeed in selling, learn to read your customer. Listen to what he says and assemble a picture of what he wants. Then show him that you can supply it. And mention the add-ons you can supply as well, but keep on reading the customer's reactions. If you're antagonising him with a set sales spiel, your unlikely to reel him in.

This salesman was dealing with a potential client who is a caring employer who obviously values and empowers his own staff. The salesman's apparent attitude towards the assistant he brought with him seems calculated to alienate to customer.

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By The CEO
05th Nov 2009 16:56

I just want a bank

 Is that too much to ask for?

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