This topic has, I think been one of the longest, I have pondered on.
Yesterday I wrote about why it was critical for the marketing / product management / sales folks to be asking questions and how it impacts the ability to succeed in the market.
So why don’t most of the sales / marketing / product management folks do it. One of course is vanity / ego….we know all the reasons why someone does not buy, after all we have been doing this for “xxx” years. The other bigger one is fear because most of us are not prepared to listen to the truth, we don’t know how the prospect will react, we may realise we are the actual cause of the problem.
We would rather end up being busy sending emails, doing “busy” work, attend a lot of internal meetings, rather than go out into the market. These are things we know to do so we do them rather than go and check out the unknown.
Ozan Varol in his book – Think Like a Rocket Scientist has a very nice story – and I paraphrasing it here to get the point out – of your boss asking you to get a monkey to stand on a pedestal and recite from Shakespeare. You break down the problem into different stages – building a pedestal, identifying a monkey and making it learn Shakespeare. What would you do first here.
Most people would first think of building the pedestal first – why because that’s the easiest to do and you will be able to show progress to your boss. If you were to first go to identify a monkey which can speak English, you will never be able to show progress to your boss.
Similarly its easier to show that you have done some activity by telling your boss that you sent a mail, than it is to get to identifying why some one is not buying your product.
This is one of the biggest frustrations I face in trying to get my teams to figure out why people are not buying something from us. If you can master this art of just asking – you can’t imagine what all you will learn.
Till next time then.