Thursday, 12 April 2012

The Boss, my best Customer

I had a great chat with a friend who is currently between positions.  We talked about what he is looking for.  We approached it the typical way - what can he bring to the table, what does he want, etcetera, et boring cetera.

It wasn't until I sat in on a sales webinar yesterday that the answer to his, and my career satisfaction fell into my lap.  The moderator asked the question, "who is your ideal, perfect customer?"  I wonder if most salespeople ever take the time to ask themselves that question, or are we just scrambling to find anyone who'll buy our product?

Sometimes, especially during times of unemployment or under-employment it feels like we're using the same shotgun approach.  Who will hire us (buy our wares)?  But what if we asked the question, "who is my perfect customer?" (the employer is essentially a customer who "buys" our time and talent).

And so my friend is making up his wishlist of traits he is looking to find in a future employer.  He has no plans to sell out to the lowest bidder, to those who don't qualify, or to the first one to come along.  On his list, so far:
  • a company with a clear sense of purpose, direction and raison d'etre
  • integrity at the top, uncompromising integrity expected throughout the organization
  • a growing company, not one that is just hanging on to the status quo, or managing a downward slide
  • a product or service he can be proud of
  • etc.  (it's a work in progress)
No mention of what he brings to the table, yet.  That's a different discussion and a different sales job altogether, one not to be wasted on people and companies that don't qualify as his "ideal customer".

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