Thursday, March 5, 2009

From an IT Director: "How to Shut down vendor cold calls"...this is good stuff.

I found this post "How to cut to the chase on the vendor cold call", by Jay Rollins, over at Tech Republic.

The blog is titled, "CIO for Hire".

I found the article very interesting for those of us hammering out MPS deals - or at least trying.

I found the article very illuminating regarding the current selling to IT model and why it is sometime difficult to get IT providers to succeed with Managed Print Services.

In it, Jay reveals how he "handles" a cold sales call from a vendor; imagine you are setting down with your list of prospects (the yellow pages) and you are dialing up Jay's number.

If he answers, he clearly states to you, "...You have five minutes to tell me what your product is and how it will help me. At the end of that five minutes I will tell you if we’re interested, if it’s something we want to look at in the future or if I want more information.”

It's like Detroit all over again.

Now I disagree with the premise, but let's continue down this road.

You have five minutes to "wow" this guy - the neophyte will stumble into some sort of rote "value statement" ending with "we have the lowest prices around..." click.

The advanced selling professional will realize that five minutes is plenty of time to close for an appointment. Because this professional knows a great deal about this IT guy and his set-up and probable pain points.

The Consummate Selling Professional will never be in this position because he has been introduced into the C-levels and is talking to the person who tells the IT guy what to do.

Which is why I do not like the premise - cold calling. When you read the post, and the comments, a clear view of how the Sales Person is viewed by many prospects. It isn't pretty.

Cold calling is fine if you are "churning and burning" or looking for that one or two machine sale, down the street.

But as a first step in the dance of relationship building?

I am unsure.

Click to email me.


  1. Thanks Greg. You've given me an exercise to go over with reps-- looks like a good cold calling role play to me!

  2. Anon -

    I gotta tell ya, his little post enthralled me.

    We all know this to be true, but to see it from the other side is just great.

    Glad it helps, keep coming back.