Be discerning of where the actual sale happens and sell there too. Do not let your mingling with executive power cloud your judgment. Simply because the bosses okayed it does not mean that the sale will happen. That the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of the hotel agrees to install your bank’s Process Data Quickly (PDQ) machine is half the sale.
The other half is tougher because installing doesn’t mean using. A PDQ is the gadget buyers insert their bank card in, to make payment with. At the hotel, your PDQ will not rest with the CFO upstairs; it will be at the reception downstairs competing for attention with other PDQs!
And the CFO has no desire to insist that your PDQ be the one to be used. He doesn’t care. He only cares that his card- paying buyers are not inconvenienced; which is why he is happy to have more than one PDQ. The fate of your sale, therefore, lies with the seemingly irrelevant receptionist.
So, after you have left the CFO’s office, it is in your interest to incentivise the receptionist to give preference to your PDQ. Some sellers give branded T-shirts and caps, and make occasional visits and calls to check on her and any challenges she is facing. Why?
Have you paid by card at the supermarket (or fuel station) and the cashier (or attendant) after a failed attempt to get a response from a PDQ scoffs dismissing it with, “Argh! Hii machine yao huwa iko na shida. Wacha tujaribu hii nyingine.” (“This PDQ usually doesn’t work. Let us try this other one.”) ‘This other one’ refers to a competing bank’s PDQ . And just like that, a sale is lost. The income your bank would have earned from use of your machine goes to another bank!
When the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) signs a contract agreeing that all his company’s bookings will be done through your travel agency, realise that agreeing and doing are different. It is not the CEO that will do the booking. When the seemingly irrelevant administrative clerk tells him, “I’m sorry your ticket is not ready. (Your travel agency) is struggling to get it and I’ve explained the urgency.” You’ll be lucky if the CEO calls to find out why from you. More likely he will instruct thus: “Just get me a ticket.” To safeguard its sales, one travel agency chose to gift this (silent) decision maker every Valentine’s Day and birthday too.
They say it’s not the voter but the vote counter that matters. Equally, processes abound where the actual sale is far removed from the upper echelons of where the engagement was signed. Despite your multi-national corporation’s powered marketing campaign, the kibanda (kiosk) owner can decline to give your spice visibility, preferring instead to the ones he gets more profit on. It behoves the seller to get off his high horse and come down to where the actual sale happens.