Part of the Solution

Idealistic musings about eDiscovery

Tag Archives: services

Can You Be a “Salesman” and Still Be Part of the Solution?

I had a job interview by telephone last week. The position’s job posting read as though it had been lifted from my career bucket list; everything I want my career to be, and all the experience I have obtained, meshed perfectly with the contents of the job description.

I knew, however, that there might be more here than meets the eye when, upon initial contact, the reviewer mentioned that in addition to everything listed on the job posting, this would be “a true sales position”. I love to evangelize and identify solutions. I HATE to “sell”.

I thought the interview went fairly well (at least, for purposes of demonstrating my expertise). The interviewer disagreed; he even told me so during the call, saying that he didn’t hear me steering the conversation forcefully enough to specific solutions that could be presented. (Never mind the fact that the list of solutions this company represents is outdated and incomplete on their website, so I wasn’t sure what to recommend. The message was clear: I wasn’t SELLING hard enough.)

This brings me to a recent post on LinkedIn by Damian A. Durrant of Catalyst, entitled “More solving, less ‘selling'”. He believes as I do: don’t sell, SOLVE.

Sales is push, it says I am ramming something, anything, down your throat lubricated with lunch whether you need it or not. Unpleasant. Consulting is pull, it says I believe I have something that will help you, let’s talk about it. Better.

I have been a salesman. I have been a consultant. I much prefer the latter, as I am working to provide solutions. A salesman will make his numbers for the month. A solution provider will be someone the client goes back to again and again, because the provider makes the client’s job easier and less expensive. It’s the difference between making a one-time sale, and building a true relationship.

The e-discovery industry needs to shed itself of its copying and scanning “salesy” origins and start behaving more like the advisory firms, albeit more creatively, more nimbly and without the hefty billing rates.

Nicely said, Damian. Nicely said indeed.

I highly recommend you read his message.