Skip to content

Gang-banged into buying something

July 13, 2009

(This is the first of my 3-part series on the thing that makes your salary possible – sales.)

It happens in broad daylight and chances are you’ve witnessed it before.

The salesman (who plays the role of a GRO or geisha) wines and dines the CEO. The engineer covers the techie boys. A director kau tims the client’s director. When the stars align, a deal is struck and the sale is made.

Some call it team sellling. I call it gang-bang selling.

This usually springs out of a strange philosophy that the salesman’s job is only to entertain and sweet-talk the client to buy, just like a GRO. Its not his job to get into product details. For that, you need other people to join in the “fun.”

Somewhere in my imagination, a salesman is a 3-in-1 guy. He’s the product expert, the industry expert and the relationship guy. He talks to you about the product’s innards, its cost and its impact to your business. He also tells you a few jokes to bond with you.

Ok I’ll wake up now. Over here a typical salesman has a sidekick, an engineer to tag along. If technology is a crucial selling point like IT or tech outsourcing, who closes the sale? The engineer, because only he makes sense to the client. But strangely, its often the salesman that gets all the comission. The engineer… well, he gets to claim mileage and parking. And usually the blame if the customer doesn’t buy.

Okay maybe that’s stretching it a little but my point is, find me a typical IT salesman here and I’ll show you a salesman who doesn’t know much beyond the product price. Often there are no incentives for him to be technically competent, no penalties if the client complains he was just visited by a clueless airhead.

There are pros and cons to gang-bang selling of course. Mostly cons if you ask me. It may have worked last time when companies were big hierarchies and CEOs were basically glorified accountants who can’t understand technology even if they tried. I don’t see it working too well these days because the lines separating CEO, CIO, and CTO are getting blurred.

What about your company? Got GROs selling for you?

Advertisements
One Comment leave one →
  1. July 14, 2009 8:30 am

    I thought the salesman is there for the drinks n the food? They do claim that from the company as “entertainment fee”. No? 😛

    Oh, and the techie tags along to get the free stuff.

    Yeah some techies come for the food. I even saw one “ta pau” some food back before. 😀

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: