Wednesday, November 24, 2010

“That’s Too Bad…”

A number of years ago I was part of a sales team presenting a demo to a large prospect in Houston (no names…). Things were going great – the end-users were loving the software and management heads were nodding in agreement.

The prospect’s IT manager asked, “Can our users store their data locally, in addition to on corporate server?”

Our presales guy, who was presenting the demo, quickly responded, “Yes, absolutely. Users can download and save datasets locally on their laptops in a few simple steps. Here – let me show you…” And he did.

The IT manager then said, “That’s too bad… We have a strict policy of no corporate data on local machines. We won’t be able to use your software…!” [Ouch!] A sad example of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory… What should the presales person have done?

Before jumping to answer “Yes!” (and rushing to demo the feature), he should have asked, “Why do you ask – what are you looking to accomplish?”

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