I sell software for a living. Just in case you forgot, or never knew, my job is to present our software solutions to a customer and make sure there are no technical objects preventing them from buying it.
Does this make me a weasel?
Relatively, maybe a little bit. But, I sleep very well at night – and it’s not because of my $10,000 Dodo down pillows. Our tools are actually very good and are worth the money.
However, sometimes I am asked to show how our software can do things than any curious high school student could figure out on their own. In this case the customer wanted an email whenever their tablespace reached a certain size.
I showed them how to do it with Toad, and it has a lot of steps involved, and of course they would have to buy the software.
And after a few minutes of dancing, I took a big risk.
I told the customer that they could probably do this same thing in a few minutes of shell scripting.
To my surprise, they nodded, and then went back to how we could get our software to do that for them.
My counterpart, the actual sales guy (who doesn’t even look like a weasel AT ALL in case you’re reading this), also didn’t flinch. He’s successful because he genuinely cares about his customers..and he probably trusts me a little bit too much.
There’s a sales tactic (weasels are fluent in these) called a ‘stripline.’ I wasn’t even trying this. I was honestly just trying to help the customer.
I find that you’ll find more customers if you are up front and honest with them, and even say the words ‘No’ every now and then.
If you have someone that is curious, creative, and a hard-worker – they are worth WAY more than any software you could buy. But if it were up to me, you’d have plenty of both.