Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Why I Don't Have A Corporate Overview

Interesting call yesterday. A reader had invited me to participate in a webcast with some of his manager peers to discuss their Professional Skills needs and a potential customized class they wanted me to develop. I’d fully prepared beforehand, researched the company and discussed the call format with my coach.
After the basic introductions, the senior manager present said:
Cust:      “John – why don’t you start off by presenting your Corporate    Overview?”
John:     “Actually I don’t have one. I have never needed to build one.”
Cust:      “Surely you must have needed one in the past. How do you let people know about all the things you do?”
John:     “Well, that’s what I use my website and the book for. In fact – I believe starting off with a Corporate Overview is wrong because it’s all about me. You are the customer, we should start with you. How about you tell me about what you do in the Professional Skills area now for your SE’s, how that is working, and what could be improved upon? For example – what do your sales partners think about your team?”
They talked for 50 minutes and all I had to do was affirm, reconfirm and ask them to explain a few acronyms. I uncovered some major pains, and pointed out a few items that they hadn't even thought about.
So my customer got a free preview of how I wanted them to sell. No customer wants to hear “Who We Are And What We Do” until they know that you care and that you understand them.

If your customer sessions start with “Hullo, I’m Joe, your account executive. Our company was started in 1995 by our three founders and we went public in 1999 and are now listed on the NASDAQ with the ticker symbol BOZO. We have 600 employees in 19 different countries serving over 60,000 users. This is a picture of our new corporate headquarters. Now for the next three hours here is my pre-sales engineer who will take you through every module of our product.”

Think again.