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September 06, 2005

How Much is that Doggie in the Window?

Not every request for pricing is an objection. I recently sat through a conference call/web based sales pitch by AngelVision for creating a flash presentation to promote one of my companies. But AV would not tell me what it costs before the pitch. It reminded one too much of the Amway "get the whole story" ploy for a face-to-face sales call. This left a bad taste and, for my part, unnecessary sales obstacles.

But wait, there's more, 7 more: AV made these additional mistakes:

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1) Start the presentation on time. AV could not immediately locate the CEO as pitchman for the assembled, waiting prospects. If you can't find the presenter, the show must still go on -- with an understudy if need be.

2) Never let 'em see you sweat. So AV's lead presenter was lost. There appeared to be a very capable VP on hand to provide information, asking qualifying questions, giving a warm-up act. Say most anything, but don't tell potential clients you can't synchronize an Outlook calendar and don't know what to do next. Fill the dead air with some anticipation. See The Consultant's Jargon Generator. Unless it's part of the act, don't let on that your hair's on fire.

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3) Don't tell me how smart you are. AV's very accomplished CEO couldn't tell us quick enough about his Ivy League degrees -- sounding too much like a college sorority sister establishing a pecking order. I know he was smart because he told me so.

4) Never introduce yourself. Let someone else do the bragging. I am leery of any forty-year-old man telling me what University he attended. (Unless it's Oxford. Like me.) AV's CEO should have had his very capable VP's whisper as an aside, confidentially, "You know, he went to Harvard." Find an accomplished Ed McMahon or a good second banana to say, "Heeereee's Johny!!!"

5) Never discuss religion or politics. AV has pet causes that alienated -- something about rainforests, peace in our time, landfills, I think. And Starbucks. I was left with the impression that the AV commune sits in a circle in Oregon and sings Kumbaya, which must be very impressive to creative media potsmokers. But not to decision makers with a five figure buying authority.

6) Never provide backup/proof unless the client is skeptical. AV sent me eleven (11!) pages of landfill of client testimonials. A few blurbs would be better, sure. And the client list. But pages of telling me how smart you are instead told me how insecure you are.

7) Do as I say; Not as I do. AV highlighted their product as avoiding the need for those pesky salesmen calling and bothering and trying to sell you something. Then I get two follow-up sales telephone calls from AV. Now, I love sales guys -- I started off selling vacuum cleaners door-to-door 35 years ago -- but don't put salesmen down, then use them when (appearing) desperate.

Bottom line: I didn't buy. The AV manufactures suggested retail price is $17,500. But! if you buy now! now! your investment! is onlyninethousanddollars....I had a low four figure budget and AV did not close the gap between my needs, my money and their solution. Which is actually very good.

doggie.png

With Shadrach
the Big Dog, 1995

If I knew how much that doggie in the window cost, and AV knew enough to tell me upfront, you'd be reading a very different analysis about a very different AngelVision.

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Be sure to see Guerilla Marketing for Consultants

More at B2B Lead Generation Blog at Marketing to Small-Medium Businesses.

Good reading at Carnival of the Capitalists.

Update 13 Oct 2005 Individual and Community has more on multi-level marketing.

Posted by Jack Yoest at September 6, 2005 08:43 AM

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