Have you ever played poker? During my miss-spent student days, a friend of mine took me a Casino, and attempted to educate me in the nuances of the game. One lesson I remember particularly well.
“ There is a mug on every table. If you have played at a table for more than five minutes and haven’t figured out who the mug is, get up and leave.- you are the mug”
Years later, I learned a similar lesson in business. We would put huge amounts of work into proposals and presentations for big business opportunities. We’d get great feedback…but not win the deal. Eventually, in one of these “beauty pageants”, we found we had such a great relationship with the prospect, they helped us build a presentation that would beat our competitors. We enjoyed watching all the other mugs waste their resources in a futile exercise.
Here are some common situations that our competitors can inadvertently help us by being the “mug”:
Educating vs understanding
“Our competitors do a great job of opening the door and educating the customer,… so we can close the deal at a higher value, often even using their proposals as a starting point”
Promoting vs attracting
“Their slick marketing, advertising, free trials and samples, is often interpreted either as too-good-to-be-true, or desparation-to-sell. That makes it easier for us to win on Trust “
Hiring out of necessity vs Talent management.
“My competitors hire B-players in a hurry. Often because they lost an A-player to me!”
Hope strategy vs prospecting plan
“Our competitors waste valuable time and resources trying to close deals that will never close. Our team gets the NO early and uses the time saved to get in front of real prospects that our competitors neglect “
My old student friend now is now a private banker working in Switzerland. He’s no mug!
Without being insulting, how often are members of your sales team “mugs”?