This sales business is filled with data so high and cluttered, Marie Kondo (of Tidying Up fame) would not only be unable to spark joy, she would lose the will to live.

Data sheets. PDF brochures, forecast sheets, spec sheets, CRM systems, blue, green and other pretty coloured account planning sheets, internal negotiation planners, sales planners, territory maps, prospect lists, LinkedIn connection lists, email lists, call planners, proposal templates, tender response templates….are you still breathing?

Something, or actually, someone gets lost in all of this. The living, breathing, flawed human being who ultimately makes the decision on buying your pride and joy or not.

Sure, many of those ‘sheets’ are supposed to inexorably lead you to convince your client with a magical fireworks display of Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) , Return on Investment (ROI) , and Cost/Benefit analysis.

Well, they do and they don’t.

They provide a good case to be considered.

They don’t really focus on the individual.

Here are some examples of the flawed individuals who say yes or no.

The incompetent, over budget manager trying to look vaguely competent to his peers because this is his third job in three years and he’s just had twins.

The technocrat who has the commercial business acumen of a first year pre-school teacher.

The procurement genius negotiator on the autism spectrum.

The power junkie with more political nous than a posse of Canberra journalists.

The little boy who wasn’t reprimanded for lying when he was little, which he then continued into his corporate career.

The female executive who learned to survive and thrive despite misogyny in her industry.

The frightened, meek, risk averse and fearful middle manager who’s just watched 30 of his colleagues hand in their security passes on the way to spend more time with their families.

I don’t often see this information when coaching sales strategies, sales planners, pitch presentations amidst all the myriad data sheets

Sometimes the person you need to address is staring right in front of you …and you’re blocked from seeing them by the blinding blizzard of data.

They are flawed, like us, but interesting, and if you help them achieve their purpose, achieving yours will simply be a formality.

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 the author of # 1 International Best Seller ‘ Confessions of a Pitch Consultant‘ and Sales Vs Procurement – The Secrets Unveiled at the Negotiation Table and 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 negotiators.