You Got My Attention

Or did you?

What you really did is interrupt me. I don’t know who you are, but you think you are special enough that I’ll stop everything just to meet with you, talk to you or respond to you.interrupt

You don’t really care if the initiative that I am responsible for rolling out is a success. You certainly don’t care about what is at stake if I fail. All you care about is getting your sale.

Even if I meet with you, you hear nothing that I say. Actually, I didn’t have much chance to say anything, because you can’t stop talking about how great you, your product and your company are.

You know absolutely nothing about my business. What’s worse, it is obvious you haven’t even bothered to try to find out what’s important to me. That’s insulting. There’s this thing called the Internet and social networks. You may have heard of them. Do you use them? Don’t think so. All you care about is getting your sale.

You think all you need to do to bond with me is to ask a few outdated questions like “what keeps you up at night”. If you really want to know what keeps me up at night, I’ll tell you. It’s you.

In your desperation to sell me something, you are not thinking about the bigger problems that I am facing. Revenue keeps declining, leads are drying up, my sales people don’t follow up on the leads that marketing gives them, or they waste time with people not qualified to buy from us. Senior management is on my back, and I may not have a job in 6-months if I don’t find a way to stop the bleeding. I know we need more than a quick fix but that’s what you are peddling.

Even if your product or service fixes one part of the problem, how do you help me solve the rest of it? I know, I know. That’s not really your job is it? I think it should be.

You should care, but you don’t. You’ll protest, of course. You’ll say that you do care, but we both know that you just want the sale.

I know you complain about me. You whine to your buddies that I just don’t get it. You think it’s rude not to return your phone call or answer your email. You can’t fathom that the reason for my silence is that you’ve said nothing that tells me you are different. You are as bland, selfish, lazy and vanilla as every other sales person who approaches me. It soothes your ego to point the finger at me and proclaim it is my fault. You believe that if I just took the meeting, sat through your demo and listened to your company story, I’d understand.

The problem is that YOU don’t understand.

You refuse to listen to me. You can’t accept that everything you thought you knew is useless now. I want something more from you. You need to tell me something that I don’t already know; otherwise, what’s the point?

I don’t need sales people. I need trusted advisors. People that I can count on to tell me the truth, present fresh ideas, look at the problem holistically, work seamlessly with other providers and challenge me to think differently.

When the day comes that what keeps YOU UP AT NIGHT is that I might lose my job if what you sell me doesn’t work out, that’s when I will know it is time to welcome you with open arms.


  1. bruce perryman says

    Brilliant! Spot on.
    Jay Baer, in his newly released book Youtility, speaks to this point. Jay demonstrates how companies, large and small, have migrated from yell and sell to a more effective / efficient informational collaborative approach. Ctrl Alt Delete, authored by Mitch Joel, speaks to the value of “utility” as well.

  2. says


    Rather than show up and ask a lot of questions about things you should already know, how about showing up with an understanding of their business and some ideas that will help them solve a problem, grow revenue, be more successful, save time, etc.?

    If you can do that, they will WANT to hear more.



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