19 May 2014

SugarCRM turned ten the other day which provided me the perfect excuse to pop off to San Francisco and stop by my favorite dice store. Will graciously accompanied me on my mission to make 1-4-24 a bartime staple. We arrive at Jeffrey’s Toys and Comics where I ask the shopkeeper to pass me the bins of dice. “Sets of six,” I say to my confused comrade who still isn’t sure why we’re there. I have pretty specific, albeit slightly neurotic, criteria for certain commodities. Suitcases, di, desk chairs, cocktails - all subject to well defined parameters, but good a di is pretty easy to define: sharp, not curvy edges with high contrast numbers. This way they’ll be easy to read in dim light and won’t roll all wild like and force you to your knees under some bar attempting to drunkenly retrieve your toy. As it pertains to the set as a whole, I’m a purist. All six should match only because otherwise I’ll overthink the fairness of each di as if the rolls aren’t representing independent random variables…. yea, I overthink things a lot. Whatever, live with it. 

So sets of 6 similarly colored, sharp cornered dice. Simple enough, right? Ha! I don’t know if it was my jet lag, Will's hangover, or the fact that it seemed this store stocked dice in sets of 5, but it took us like 20 min to complete this mission. All the while I kept thinking about how frustrating this would be for someone with more particular criteria than my own. The more I dug, the more I had to abandon one color I liked for another; the more sets of 4 or 5 I laid out on the counter, the less satisfied I became with any of them. I mean, they’re dice… I realize that - who really cares what color they are? But what if I was buying software instead?When prospects appear with premeditated programmatic expectations, are they doomed for disappointment? Or do problems simply arise when they’re presented with too many choices? How can we stop customers from getting 5/6ths of the way down a path before they realize they’re in a technological cul de sac? Simple. With guided prospecting and good discovery.

Had the lady asked me what the hell I was up to, perhaps she could have started me with the bin of satisfying dice. Too late now, I sorted it, but think about your prospects: are any of them wandering about the trial trail without a map?  It might be time to offer some guidance.

So this week, lend a hand. As much fun as it might be to watch a blonde with a big grin shake a bin , if you’re keen to sell her something - step in before smiles turn to sighs. By helping customers identify the shortest path to success, you’ll also see your average time to sale slide in your favor.

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Last modified on Friday, 09 January 2015 22:41
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

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