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Monday, April 8, 2013

There Is Always Useful Behavior

...If you think about it.

I was talking to a friend who hosts a series of industry meetings. Being spring and the sap is rising, her last meeting had a lot more people than usual, but she noted most of the newcomers were prospectors, looking for new sales.

She saw it as the physical equivalent of spam.

I said, now hold on, I’ve been in their position. Did you ask any of those prospectors to help you?

She said in her years of running programs like these, no prospector had ever brought someone she wanted.

I asked if she had a written list she could share of what she wanted? After all, The Lord must favor prospectors, he made so many of them.

I thought about a couple of organizations I’ve inhabited.

I often come in because I’ve been asked to present.

Then, if I like the people, I will come back to accept my sales.

Finally if I like the organization’s mission, I try to support it. That doesn’t mean nodding my head, that means figuring out what I can physically provide that they need.

My best definition of Value in these circumstances is, What costs me nothing that they want and can’t get at any price.

I’ve often seen other, less valuable definitions, right down to, What I want to give you whether you want it or not.

That’s kind of like This is going to hurt me more than it’s going to hurt you. I never could figure that one out, either.

As a prospector, one of the values I can bring is popularizing the activity. That usually lands me in the membership function.

Effective membership activities create a lot of power in the organization, especially if you figure that what and who you sell is often the most direct agent of organization change.

I had one 15 year relationship, where the previous members said, “That Dick, he’s a eww Salesman!” I never got much value from the previous. But their organization had something my prospects wanted, so every month I’d bring one or three new people.

I invented the free drink coupon so my new believers could bring their friends, and soon both groups, my direct invites and their direct invites were saying, “I think Dick invented this organization.”

I ended up going through the chairs and even presiding. Years later, I still have social and commercial relationships with probably a hundred of those folk.

Last month, Vint Cerf gave a talk at Verisign. I recognized eight tribes in attendance, and I was a member of six. I knew people in the other two, I just hadn’t invested my time in their organizations. That’s a comfortable audience.

Even if what you want to do isn’t what someone wants you to do, is there something else you can offer that they will want? What would that be? Value is what costs me nothing that they can’t get at any price.

Please join us at Sales Lab’s Rainmaker 19, Foam Ball, 300 seconds of enlightenment at The Capital Technology Management Hub, 6:30 pm on Tuesday, April 9 at Teqcorner, 1616 Anderson Road, Third Floor, McLean, VA 22102. Rainmaker 19 Foam Ball will be immediately followed by our headliner presentation, Tom Cooper, BrightHill Group, Are You Too Busy To Plan?
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