17 July 2010 ~ 0 Comments

transfer point

transfer point

Sales people are not engineers. Engineers are not sales people.

Great sales people are extremely charismatic. Well dressed charmers. They reach out, connect, find common ground, establish rapport and convince. Their attitude, tonality and body language adapts to the interaction with other people as they paint an attractive landscape that eventuality leads to trade. They dance as they reduce the risk for change and make what they have in their toolkit the most attractive option for the prospect’s problem.

They are up and they are down. They are emotional and passionate. Success for a sales person is measured as the grand finale act of convincing someone to commit to something they didn’t know they wanted. Every step to reach that point is an exercise in change and analysis and more change.

Real engineers live to solve problems. Instead of the rapidly altering emotion of a sales person, an engineer aims for a point and seldom alters the course until all the relevant data is captured, analyzed and pieced together to reach the solution.

Each problem is a jigsaw puzzle and work continues until it’s solved. A constant flow of thought and activity, trial and error until the goal is reached and the jigsaw completion.

Having a sales person guide engineers is to restart the jigsaw puzzle in every interaction. To have engineers be a component in a sales cycle is to inhibit the fluidity of the conversation and rapport. Each has a different set of motivators and path to success.

When the sales person has done their convincing, insert a transfer point between then and the when engineers being to enact the change agreed to with the client. Purposefully move from a state of conversation to one of action by itemizing the problem and the commitments made to resolve those problems.

Then let the sales person move to the next convincing situation and have the engineer focus on solving the problem.

This may come across as relatively obvious and even, possibly, old fashioned advice. In the modern world we tend to assume that the world is full of change and everyone must be able to accommodate this and people are more or less the same (this, I fear, is narrowed by most people’s built-in assumption that everyone is like THEM). To bridge gaps, technical frameworks exist to embrace change to shorten delivery cycles and bring sales people and engineers closer together.

This is fantastic news, however sales people are sales people because they are driven that way; the thrill and art of convincing and the commission for turning it into trade. The engineer isn’t driven by the same factors, but instead needs quiet time to solve the problems they are handed.

Ideologies of a worldwide ‘group hug’ aside, recognize these differences and be the transfer point between the two worlds when a sale needs to turn to action. In all other stages and steps, keep the two worlds separated.

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