I have a small consulting side-business I’ve been doing by referral for a number of years. It’s kind of a carry-over from my I.T. career. I work with small businesses to help them make decisions on larger technology purchases. Quite often, these small companies have no permanent I.T. staff and often when faced with a large technology purchase decision, the only side they get to hear is that of the tech sales person. My job is to serve as a neutral liaison and disseminate the information, whittling down the options to a few choices that best suit the requirements. All too many technical sales people will be more than happy to sell technology even if it’s not a good fit.
In that work, I attend a lot of meetings on behalf of (and usually alongside) my clients. Recently, I was helping a company spec out a new phone system. We met with one vendor who had this huge ‘gong’ in their reception area. It resembled that thing from that old game show “The Gong Show”. I asked what it was for. The sales person replied ‘oh we ring it every time we get an order’.
Something about that didn’t really sit right with me. One thing I look at when sizing up these types of purchases for my clients (this was easily a 150K purchase), is what kind of ability will the vendor have to support my client once the sale is complete? In the case of this vendor, I sensed they were heavy focused on selling and lightly dedicated to support. And it was reflected in that salesperson’s answer about the gong.
Don’t get me wrong — there’s nothing wrong with celebrating success. And I would have thought better of it if he would have answered ‘oh we ring it every time we get a new customer’. But to celebrate the just order is a bit short sighted in my opinion. So what are you celebrating in your home based business — the new orders or your new customer relationships?