We’re scared and it’s scaring me.
Many politicians are scared to stand for what they think is right for fear of being kicked out when ironically, they’ll be kicked out for not standing for something.
Whoever advised UK PM, Theresa May not to front up to a debate and talk in stultifying, numbing slogans for a whole campaign should be forced to reconsider their level of expertise in 2017.
It’s not even worth remembering the Federal Government’s joyously ‘safe’ Jobs and Growth campaign.
Equally, in so many business pitches, there are a lot of people selling on eggshells.
‘Do you think our tagline should be ‘Innovation and Curiosity’ or ‘Curiosity and Innovation’?
‘Let’s play it safe with this guy, I don’t want to burn my main contact’
I’m not comfortable walking into the pitch with one slide and having a discussion – we need to show we’re across the detail’
‘Let’s drop the price up front so they’ll see our commitment to them as a client – I don’t want to end up in a serious negotiation’
‘We’ve submitted the tender, procurement said ‘don’t contact anyone’ so let’s just wait and see what they come back with’
‘I don’t think the client liked Mike very much, but he is the Account Director, so let’s not get involved in making an issue. I’m sure the client will come round when we demo the solution’
‘My Global VP is in town – he is an arrogant knob, but he wants to see my biggest clients’
‘The pre-sales dude talks more crap than a sewerage salesman at an excrement conference, but he is the expert so we have to do it’
We’re scared of what? – of losing face, losing our job, losing friends at work, but apparently not so scared of losing the deal.
The client, just like the electorate, doesn’t care.
Clients don’t care about your internal politics or who likes who and they certainly don’t take into consideration that you allowed an enormous idiot to pitch to them.
In markets, where commoditisation is increasing and demonstrable differentiation is the key, why would we allow our least best selves to drive the pitch?
Everyone is going to get overruled at some point by a decision maker who makes a call.
But if you are continually overruled on the best ways of winning new pitches, why do you want to keep working there?
There are some great sales leaders out there that will dare to win, not be frightened to lose.
Trust me, I’ve coached them and they’re wonderful.
Selling on eggshells makes your walk through your professional life a very tentative and fearful affair…and eventually, one day, it cracks anyway.
Elliot Epstein is a leading Pitch Consultant, Keynote Speaker, Corporate Sales, Negotiation and Presentation trainer who gets sales results rapidly. He has coached and trained high profile corporates globally in presenting, selling, negotiating and pitching. He has spoken at over 1500 conferences and workshops for leading companies such as HP, SEEK, Avaya, Hitachi , Asciano, Samsung and Lend Lease
He is internationally renowned for ensuring sessions are engaging, interactive and relevant to winning business in competitive markets.
Elliot is based in Melbourne where he lives with his wife and two kids who are not scared to lose.
For more information on negotiating go to www.salesversusprocurement.com