My first exposure to a strong value proposition came on the heels of being fired from a great position. As Vice President of a technology solutions firm I thought I had it made until one day, a number of bad things came together all at one time; the bomb was dropped right on my corner office desk! While cleaning out my office I was plagued with the important question, “How do you find another one of these?” No one advertises for such a position.
After the initial shock of being in this unbelievable situation, it occurred to me that I had bestseller material sitting right in front of me. Our company had achieved some unbelievable success, so why not put together a short seminar on how to take your company from “Good to Great” (borrowing here from Jim Collins). Rather than sifting through job ads and contacting headhunters, I went right to the phones. I called every decision maker I could find in the Southeast and started setting up thirty minute meetings with presidents and CEOs of technology firms,… offering to share with them research on business performance, growth factors, inhibitors, etc. The demand was strong and I found myself landing five and six meetings a week!
Rather than going in with a resume, begging people to buy “me”, I showed them undeniable value. The presentation would often end with an agreement to explore further how we might work on such a strategy to grow their company. Within a couple of weeks I was getting offers. It was so much fun I wanted to do this full time – but of course no one was paying me. Eventually I settled on a position similar to the one I had left. It was just a few years later that I discovered a way to take my material to market on my own.
I relate this to selling technology. The connection is easy, people need help with business growth and if someone appears to have answers, leaders will listen. As you’re heading out this week, are you carrying with you lasting answers to your prospect’s biggest problems or are you begging them to buy another widget?
© 2011, David Stelzl