Translated by William Boletta
Two friends, Mr. Jones and Mr. Smith see each other again after many years. The used to go to school together. But now they have finished their schooling and education and have become experts in their field.
They are both quite excited about seeing each other again. And they are eager to catch up. What are you doing these days? How are things going? And what about your career? They share with each other about their adventures and what is so special about their job.
Professionalism at work
Mr. Jones is an electrician. He says that when he visits his customers there is one thing that he absolutely has to have: His toolbox. It contains all the tools he needs to do his job. He always can find just the right tool for any situation. That way, he can get the job done right away and work like a professional.
Mr. Smith is a sales expert. He talks to customers in a business environment. His work is very complex, because Mr. Smith needs to speak with several people if he wants to sell something. All of these men are professionals, and they have clear guidelines that they need to follow when they make decisions. When he carries on these conversations, Mr. Smith uses the knowledge he has acquired from his studies and from his experience. He doesn’t have a ready-made toolbox like the one Mr. Jones has.
“Wow! I would really like to have a toolbox like yours,” he tells Mr. Jones. And so the two talk about what a good idea that would be and what kind of tools it would have.
Lack of specialized publications for B2B sales
Mr. Smith says: “Sometimes I feel that I would like to do things a different way. But I’m just not sure where to turn.” He has already bought a ton of books and consulted them. He has even read up on marketing and strategy in the hope that he might possibly use some of those approaches in his sales work. But fitting all this together is quite a job. And just when he needs to know something, he draws a blank.
He also has come to see that some approaches sound good at first, but on closer inspection they don’t hold water and really make sense only in a B2C setting. You will often come across sales experts who have found just the right approach that works for them, but it won’t necessarily work for everybody else. Books like these are meant to help authors sell their own services, but they are not necessarily right for other people.
Mr. Smith is puzzled and wonders why somebody hasn’t put together all the tried and tested methods for B2B that are based on research and models. Then he could tailor his approach individually for every customer and have just the right plan for any situation. Mr. Smith explains to his friend: “Nobody is interesting in a quick fix either, one that offers too much to deal with or too little to get the work done and deliver services.” As a professional sales expert, Mr. Smith feels that he needs to focus on developing an integrated and strategic view of his customers.
Solution: The B2B Sales Toolbox
These two friends have been so immersed in their conversation that they missed the announcement of a forthcoming publication: The “B2B Sales Toolbox.” But now their interest is perked up right away. Mr. Smith clicks on the ad because he is eager to read about this. He hopes that it will be exactly what he is looking for.
He starts off by reading the Preface: “Selling in a business setting is a highly complex task. It requires not only knowledge about products, but also skill in how to communicate and offer advice. Salespeople working in this field often have an academic background as well as experience and knowledge of the field. We want to offer these individuals, along with anyone else interested, a solid foothold.” And then later: “Our Toolbox is designed to furnish salespeople will helpful tools that will enable them to succeed and at the same time maintain good customer relations.”
“This is just the thing for me,” Mr. Smith thinks. He tells his friend: “Now I will have a professional toolbox just like you do.” Then he continues reading and is delighted to find out that there are visualizations to explain all the approaches. “That’s great. So now I can look things up faster and be ready to meet with my customers.”
He orders the book right away. He can hardly wait until it is delivered. Then the two friends go on chatting and enjoy the rest of their evening together.
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