28 May 2014

For a plethora of bad reasons that, taken together, sum to nothing more than a rationalization for “because I want one,” I decided to get a new chair. As I alluded to last week, office chairs fall into the category of things requiring specific configuration. Since I seldom run the air conditioning - I like listening to the sounds of South Beach more than I dislike humidity - the new chair shall be mesh, not leather or fabric. Sweat less, check. Since I prefer to assume a position reminiscent of being shot into space - leaning back, base pivoted to the rear, feet up - the new chair shall be bendy, bendy in many ways. Recline more, check. Since the air in my apartment is salty - first world problem number 9 - the new chair should have more plastic parts than metal ones. Rust less, check. Finally, since I sit at a table that’s not technically a desk - thank you CB2 - the new chair shall have a very high, very stable up position. Sink less, check. 

I figured I owe it to my yuppy self to check out “good” chairs. I mean I’ve heard so much about the Herman Miller line, but never actually sat in one. So I stalked out a store on 16th that carried the line and swung on by. Not impressed. Don’t get me wrong, the store is cool, but I mean for $1200 I expected the chair to conform to my bum like a thai masseuse. It did not. I did stumble on another brand tho - Knoll - that seemed comfy. It had many, many articulation points and a back that let you turn about without pinching: a feature that would prove more useful if I didn’t work at home, alone. As with all small purchases, I decided to sleep on it. Plus I had to pick colors anyway, and that could take a minute.

In the meantime, I go visit Ralph - who, as it turns out, knows what’s what when it comes to office chairs. Well design generally, but let’s stay focused. So there I am, not thinking about desk chairs in the slightest, when I lean back so effortlessly that thought I was going to fall. Amazing. Turns out the sensation of imbalance was actually the vibrations of a wrench being thrown into my purchase plans. As Ralph shared the advantages of a mesh back *and* bottom, I couldn’t help but wonder how often late coming competitors disrupt an otherwise smooth sales cycle.

As the incumbent, for lack of a better term, how do we fend off competitive cherry pickers? As the underdog, how can we use the education the competition shared and time they spent to our advantage? As salesmen generally, how can we better identify the signs of someone who’s just not quite sold? Frankly none of the yuppy chairs really sung to me, but they were an improvement, so absent of a better option I would have eventually transacted. Now, with a rejuvenated belief in chair potential, I’m back to browsing. No compelling event, no compelling product, no credit card compelled.

So this week, create a sense or urgency. When you wait for the customer to sell themselves, your pipeline pays the price. Instead identify a compelling event, make a date, set a deadline, buy a chair, close the deal.

Rate this item
(0 votes)
Last modified on Thursday, 08 January 2015 20:05
Erin Wilson

I find great amusement in everyday absurdities and am constantly surprised by how my bar-ventures, my travels, and even my food-qusitions relate to the shenanigans that is software sales. I am grateful for the opportunity to leverage the Sapient Salesman as an outlet to share with you my follies, and I hope you can enjoy the schadenfreude.

Website: ebullienterin.com/

Erin Wilson is the author and publisher of the Sapient Salesman

A "sapient salesman"?

 A sapient salesman is tasked with being a psychologist, technologist, empathist, humorist, conversationalist, and a dozen other “ists” in the course of practicing their salescraft. Most people can’t wear that many hats, and these tidbits are designed to minimize your millinery mandates. Read more

The Book

Look for The Sapient Salesman: Spinning Life into Lessons, One Tale at a Time on Amazon.com later this year!

Stay in Touch

You can find me ...

Not Enough. Want to stay informed? Follow me now...