Monday, 11 July 2011

This Frog Doesn't Sing for Just Anyone

One of my favourite Warner Brothers cartoon involves a man and a frog - you know the one.  A construction worker discovers a remarkably talented frog in a time capsule, figures the frog will make him a millionaire, sinks everything he has into it, and when it comes time to perform, the frog doesn't.

Beyond being one of the funniest cartoons ever, time and time again that sneaky man with dreams of a shortcut to easy street shows up in real life, all over town. Every time I'm faced with one of these "no work, big money" schemes, all I can hear is that frog singing in my ear.

Local Networking Events - every time I attend a Chamber of Commerce networking event some sales neophyte gets hold of my card and tries to convince me that my organization, one of the largest in our little town, should do business with them.  Maybe we should, but why do they imagine we're going to drop our current provider for someone we've just met?  Maybe it could happen, but I wouldn't start counting the cash yet.  So for the umpteenth time - I'm not a decision maker, I'm just a sales guy.  You can tell me how well your frog sings, or you can tell someone who cares.

Pyramid Selling - OK, I'm in sales, and I'm pretty good at what I do.   What makes you think I'm going to give it all up to buy from you so I can recruit a bunch of someones to buy from me until eventually someone finds an end user to buy a product no one wants?  This frog doesn't sing for just anyone, fool.

Plus, I'm not that into frogs:  Know Your Market.  I'm thrilled that we live in a world where frogs can just belt out a tune anytime they feel like it, and I admit we've come a long way; congratulations.  I'm just not that into frogs, which doesn't, by the way, make me ranidaphobic.  I didn't say I was scared of frogs, I said I wouldn't pay to hear one sing.

Tradeshows:  I'm a Sales Guy.  If you're Talking to Me, Get out your Wallet  I'm not saying I don't have some connections that you, my fellow salesperson, could benefit from, but that's not why I'm here right now.  If you can't buy from me, and I can't buy from you, could we both just get out of each other's way while we talk to actual customers?  I promise I'll buy you a coffee some day soon.  Plus, it cost my company a lot of money for me to be here.  I feel sort of obligated to make some of it back.  I know my company could probably use your fantastic product, but since you didn't buy booth space and I did, I'd appreciate it if you could take that stupid frog someplace else.
Watch the cartoon here - One Froggy Evening

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