I’m working on a book about salesmanship with someone who’s been selling for so many years that she forgets all that she knows.  When she was helping me design my own sales cycle, she came out with this remark which I urged her to include in her book:

“Creating opportunities for yourself is hard work, but the rewards are SO MUCH LARGER than they are when a prospect calls you for a quote.  When they call you, they’re calling all your competitors, too.  By that point, with all those options, they aren’t asking about value, they’re asking about price.”

Amen! This snapped something into focus for me – a realization I had made several months ago. I saw a classified ad for a marketing coordinator from a small A/E firm that was creating a position on their staff for the first time.  Right away, I realized that I was already too late in getting to them.  Once they had concluded that they needed a marketing coordinator, they were going to look first for a candidate who most closely resembled the marketing coordinator archetype. I was out of the running by default.

Rather than apply for their job, or try to convince them that I was qualified, or that “different is better”, I decided that my efforts were better spent looking for another firm of similar age and size that had not decided to take the traditional approach to marketing.