Soapbox: A resolution for better sales

Introducing our new monthly rant or rave column brought to you by the IT Pro Leader Board. Honesty guaranteed...

Do your homework. Offer me a compelling argument, with proof from my industry about how your wares improve productivity and/or reduce costs and I'll roll over to have my tummy tickled.

Many of my peers in the industry sigh in exasperation at the words "So, are you interested in sport?" when a new sales person calls. Don't get me wrong, I'm not some new breed of IT Puritan; corporate hospitality has its place in close business relationships as it can help both sides more fully understand each other and that can only help the relationship. However, offering me a cloud-based photocopier with the sweetener of tickets to see East 17 is insulting - definitely musically - and suggests that you consider me to be someone who is easily bought.

So, please, sales teams, in this still-recessionary environment, do your homework. Please offer me a compelling argument, with proof from my industry about how your wares can improve productivity and/or reduce costs and I promise I'll roll over to have my tummy tickled and I will make a purchasing decision in both of our best interests.

If you phone me up and lazily expect me to build your sales pitch and sell to myself then it isn't going to work. After all, I don't work in sales...

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Mark Evans is head of IT at property and construction firm Rider Levett Bucknall (RLB) and a founding member of IT Pro's Leader Board.

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