Yesterday I was asked to give a presentation at an internal conference for one of my client's business divisions. Roughly twenty minutes, some Q&A, and then small break-out groups to discuss what the audience had learnt from my session.
My aim was to 'demystify sales' for a largely technical, operative and services audience.
I took my cue from their overall divisional head (my peer) who mentioned, as part of his introductory speech, that "sales is easy!"
"Sales is easy!" I agreed. "You only have two things to deal with: the customer and the product."
"And guess what?" I continued, "There are only two things that can go horribly wrong: the customer and the product!"
From there it was a fairly ad-lib presentation covering changes, plans, vision, engagement, communication and collaboration. What works, what doesn't; how to change it, how to challenge the status quo; developing the business, investing where it will pay dividends; motivating and empowering people and aiming higher.
It was great, I thoroughly enjoyed it and the feedback was both constructive, informative, insightful and poignant.
However, the best comment by far came from one of the attendees during the break-out session.
"We have called you 'The Wolf', after that character in Pulp Fiction!" she told me. "It's like you have come in, seen the mess, come up with a plan, and got on with sorting it out!"
Excellent. A new nickname.