Don’t just sell stuff…sell yourself to the customer first
March 15, 2017
The other half of my income stream comes from offering consultancy services to plantations that are not doing well. Usually my standard procedure is to camp out field to first seek to undersrand what problems the customer is facing. Most of my competitors NEVER ever do this – they much prefer the customer to recount the problem to them. One reason why they prefer this approach is because firstly, they don’t have to commit any expenses or time to the project.
That if you subscribe to the common sense school of thought seems logical enough – after all, why would one even under write the risk of spending one’s own money BEFORE one is awarded the consultancy project?
I am very different. I have to be since I am autistic. I tend to rub people the wrong way even when that’s the last thing I really want to do – so it’s not unusual for me to dump in a small fortune to first seek to understand the problem the prospect is facing.
I find this approach gives me a competitive advantage. As while most of my competitors seem to only spend time in the conference room asking what problems the customer is facing while their juniors take notes. In my case I walk right in attired in my No.1 bush jacket and begin the meeting with the opening sentence – you’re all in deep shit! In the cloistered world of the planter it is permissible to use such strong language that is usually frowned upon by all other vocations….but planters are a different breed of men.
Thereafter everyone will sit at the razor edge of their seats. As I begin to rattle off ten bullet points in rapid succession. By the time I get to number five….someone exclaims, how do you know all these things? (There’s always one…always lah). That’s the cue for me to smile wryly like a fox and hand over a file as thick of a telephone book to the planter who sits at the end of the table. I move deliberately so that he can make out me out clearly – the man glances at my worn Rolex submariner, he darts at my shoes and nods approvingly to his counterparts – they’re all field wear Tricker’s and it speaks of a frontier man whose done his homework and there and then the decision is made.
Doctor you have the contract…now please tell us what we must do to wage war against evil.
‘Business to me is war! Those who are trained in the art of war will know what I mean by this – that is to say to first understand a thing for what it is. One would do well to invest all of one selves into that thing – do not be afraid of giving all of yourself to this thing…as when you do so. You will gain insight.
Insight is what makes you special – it is the language of honesty and cuts right into the heart of the matter. When a man speaks with insight his words can only be heavy and weighty and the serious men of this world will sit at the edge of their seats and prick their ears.
Do not be lazy. Always strive to me one with the problem. Above all do not be afraid to give – the Christians I imagine have it right. Give and you shall receive.
Research and study this Dao. As it applies to all things in life’