Have you ever had a sales opportunity fire drill?
By this I mean, have you ever had a prospect reach out and demand that they have your media/ technology/ whatever product or service up and running ASAP? (My examples have to do with more complex techs that require a signed contract, setup, training and other more complicated procedures that cannot be completed in ANY 24 hour period.)
I am not referring to more typical fire drills that require attention such as an urgent client meeting, a Friday afternoon report that has to be done, etc. Those are more legitimate and just a part of your daily job.
I have had conversations over the years with my colleagues at various companies, and to a person, have been unable to find an instance where this fire drill ever amounted to anything. Many times I have felt that this “have to have” info, contract, details etc. is being used as a negotiation tactic to get better deal terms from another supplier or partner.
There was an article in the WSJ the other day that discusses the concept of using a new vendor to beat the incumbent vendor into submission. In this case, it is MSFT the incumbent vs the new kid on the block- Google Apps.
“A person familiar with Google’s position said the Internet company wasn’t in serious contention for GM’s business. In some cases, this person added, businesses appear to use the specter of Google to negotiate discounts with Microsoft. “The majority of companies that give serious consideration to Google end up choosing us,” a Google spokesman said.”
I can’t imagine that a business relationship that is bound by this sort of activity would ever be anything more than a company / vendor one. How could you ever trust a customer that acts like this on the initial encounter?
Would love to hear other thoughts from a sales perspective.