The “Doctor Who” Effect

As a sales consultant, I always think it’s great when something I was told during my training process comes up in a real world selling experience. I often only feel as if I’ve truly absorbed the conceptual ideas behind selling when I experience them in a hands-on way. I was recently reminded, during a successful sales call, about the importance of the chemistry between client and prospective vendor and it hammered home the idea that “You’re selling yourself just as much as you’re selling the service you offer.”

Most successful businesses spend a huge amount of time and resources on perfecting things like sales pitches, marketing materials, and product or service offerings. And we expect companies to do this because we all understand that the whole point of any sales and marketing effort is to generate as many leads as possible in order to create as many opportunities as possible to earn business. And in the face of a global marketplace, where there are countless options of web or software development, the sales and marketing team at Algonquin has to work hard to differentiate company and our services from the competition. Finding prospects who are ready and willing to talk to us about our solutions is only the first step. Discovering that we’re a good match process and budget-wise gets us “almost there,” but what does the final “yes” or “no” decision often come down to? Sometimes is simply an intangible quality I’m going to start calling “The Doctor Who Effect.”

Toward the end of the successful sales call mentioned earlier, my co-worker threw out a Doctor Who reference for dramatic effect. And, wouldn’t you know it? We were sitting in a room of Doctor Who aficionados! Now, to be honest, things were going very well prior to the Doctor name drop. We had a good vibe going – some humor, some well-natured sarcasm, and a lot of head nodding. But I truly believe the Doctor Who reference sealed the deal because it helped the prospective client realized that, as people, we’re geared the same way they are. The following week, we returned to give a demo and we discovered they’d already signed our contract, before even seeing the presentation!

Like most sales people, I’ve walked out of a handful of sales calls that were so awkward and uncomfortable, I was sure I was never going to hear from the client again. And I never did. Regardless of our expertise or product offerings, if I don’t “click” with a client, I’m probably not going to get the sale. And, of course, I’ve walked out of sales calls feeling like the prospect and I were long-lost best friends, only to have them go in another direction and, in those cases, I can only assume that while “The Doctor Who Effect” may have been in effect, our solution or price point simply weren’t the right fit for the company.

The “sweet spot” is when you’ve got both the best solution AND the best chemistry going for you. I’ve seen the powerful combination in effect more than once now and I’m convinced it’s key to the majority of successful sales. Now I just have to work on finding more prospects who watch Doctor Who!


Top 10 Reasons Why My Team and I Keep Coming Back to Work

Everybody has reasons for showing up to work everyday besides the nice piece of paper you receive every other week with a bunch of numbers on it, otherwise known as a paycheck. I recently spoke with my fellow Software Support team members and, together, we came up with a list of our Top Ten reasons why we keep coming back:

  1. We actually enjoy the people that we work with! We don’t just sit here and stare at our computer screens waiting for a phone call or email to come in; we interact with our coworkers to make our work environment enjoyable. Of course, we have to balance our interactions well, in order to make sure we get all of our work done in a timely manner and that all our clients are happy but we have a good time at work. That’s really important.
  2. If we don’t know the answer to a question, we can ask anybody that we feel might, even if that person is the CEO or President of the company. Having access to people at all levels of the company not only makes us feel like we’re part of a real team, it also means we’re always learning and growing.
  3. We love receiving phone calls from our clients, who are a joy to talk to and who always brighten our day.
  4. We actually enjoy digging into reported issues, figuring out why they occurred so that they can be prevented in the future. Knowing that the work we do helps make a better product for our clients is incredibly rewarding, in and of itself!
  5. That one Friday a month where we have a F.E.A.S.T. of food.
  6. We love helping to develop the new features that will make the lives of our clients easier and enable them to work more efficiently.
  7. And, we get a sneak peak at all those new features once they’re ready to be rolled out to clients! Part of our job is to test those new features, making sure they work as designed and that they don’t have adverse effects on existing items in current applications.
  8. We love the feeling we get when we’ve helped a client who called in with a support issue and she hangs up happy, because we were able to solve the issue and send her on her way. Even when the solution isn’t an immediate one, knowing that we have a team of support reps and developers looking into the issue helps us feel confident that we’ll be able to follow up with more information and the client will be happy very soon!
  9. We enjoy contributing to the Knowledge Base Articles we use when we come across questions or issues that we haven’t dealt with before. Chances are, somebody on our team has walked through the problem before and the Knowledge Base provides us another option to get to the root of the issue and help our clients solve it.
  10. The candy machine that sits on my desk. It’s just what it sounds like-people stop by my desk throughout the day feeding their pennies (or other change) into the machine and getting back a few pieces of candy to make them smile. I think candy machines make everybody feel like a little kid who just hit the jackpot.

What are the greatest perks about your job or the company you work for?