Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Where my head is.

No, I'm not going to talk today about what I am thinking or how centered I am, or even about how I bailed on the blogging for a while. Instead I would like to talk about a sales call I had a few weeks ago that makes me smile when I think of it. I'm even smiling right now as I type this. It's one of those crooked smiles with a nasally "Humph" attached to it at the end.

So I started this new-old job about 2 months ago. I say new-old because though the job is new, as in I just started working for this company, the job is in fact old because I have done this job with these exact people at a different company. The great thing is that this new company is the cream of the crop of the last place. So it's the smart folks, the ones you trust, the ones that you are (fairly) sure they won't be looking for every opportunity to screw you out of something. Plus I'm good at it. I know the industry and who the creeps are, what to watch out for, how to qualify a lead and how to close them to become my client. It makes me feel good to be talking to people and dressing up again.

After a few weeks on the job I was able to book a meeting with a potential client that everyone at my company has had a hard time with. He is a no-nonsense guy who makes quick judgments about people, is extremely self assured and has a lot of influence with the software vendor (which he no doubt likes very much this power). He is also the decision maker of what company gets to do their software implementation. Well I want that to be us of course. So we go to his offices for a meeting. It's me and one of our Partners who is technical.

We get there early, get everything set up for the meeting and the Partner turns to me and says:
"This guy really likes you. I can see that he likes working with you."

I am excited that he has seen this and my chest sticks out a few more inches. Which doesn't hurt the sales presentation I tell you...

The "guy" in question has left the room so we can speak freely. He had to get something from his office and said he would return in a few minutes, so I am to watch through the conference room doors to see when he returns because he might need me to open the door to the area to let him in. He doesn't have his security badge.

Not 5 minutes after The Partner has told me how much this guy likes me, the "guy" walks in, points at me and says:
"YOU need to get your HEAD out of your ASS."

I think he is joking.
"Oh, you caught me, we aren't working right now."

I'm also shocked, I can't recall ever being asked to remove my head from my ass. I also note that I actually don't seem to have my head up my ass. I know this because although I am not sitting on the most comfortable chair in the world, I'm not particularly uncomfortable and I can see him clearly. I am sure my vision would be impaired in the "head up the ass scenario", but I see him fine.

"I have been waiting at that door for 10 minutes. I made so much damn noise that a person down the hall heard me and had to come let me in."

"No shit sir? A thousand humble pardons!!"

Ok, that's NOT what I said, but it did cross my mind. I actually apologized, I could not believe I didn't see him through the glass, across the waiting room through the other door. I am also a bit shaken, so when he poses his next question I don't really give the best answer.

"So, I don't have time for you to do your sales pitch in this meeting so just tell me why I should use your company as opposed to the other one."

"Uh. Because you like me? Well, you used to. You see, I'm really a great person and the people I work with are great and you would be just an idiot if you went with those other losers. Trust me on this Sugar-Bear, I have hear stories that would make your chin hair fall out."

Ok, I didn't say that either, but I wanted to. I actually stammered, gave some newbie answer then The Partner jumped in. I spent the rest of the prep time trying to blow it off and pretend I wasn't upset. The meeting went well, we showed them we were smart. Then we left.

I asked The Partner about it a few days later. His response:
"Really? That didn't even register on my radar. I thought he was pissed at you for giving a short sales pitch during the meeting when he asked you not to."

Damn...whoda thunk?! I spent the next two days trying to figgure out which I should be upset about; the missed door thing or the 5 minute pitch to tell the group the name of the f-ing company I work for and what we are here to accomplish today.

To bring you up to date:
It has been decided that I will be upset about neither one of these things. The truth is that I don't know if I want to win this deal. Ok that's a lie, of course I still want to win it, but if we do I hope I, along with our project team, can manage to keep our respective craniums out of our rectal areas for the duration of the project. If we loose it then I don't have to worry about it.

Is that the work-version of kissing a frog?

1 comment:

Kate said...

Who does he think he is, using that tone with you? Why is it that the perfect responses to assanine (god, the spelling of that word looks strange)comments are never on the tips of our tongues when we need them to be?