Friday, August 24, 2007

People are just rude... and stupid.

I've has this one sales prospect in Florida on the hook for a few months now and honestly, I hope they DON'T buy our product.

I gave them a free demo of our product and despite the fact that they are only a small account, spent 90 minutes providing them with a free webinar so they could understand how to use it. That time doesn't even include the countless emails and voicemails over 3-4 weeks we exchanged just trying to set up the webinar; emails where I would provide him with several dates that work for me and then he wouldn't get back to me until after those dates passed, so we'd have to start that process all over again. (We did that like 3 times.)

The webinar was akin to a bad migraine, by the way, as he disappeared down rabbit holes, asked stupid questions, went off on long tirades that demonstrated a basic lack of understanding about what the product even does, talked over everything I said, and then asked questions about things I had already explained but he had missed (because he liked the sound of his own voice better.)

After the demo, however, he said he was ready to go. "Send me a contract!" he said. So I did.

And then all went dark. I called but got no response. This was all before I left on my honeymoon in May. When I got back I checked back in with him and he said he just didn't understand the program and didn't think his agents would use it.

Ummm... huh?

Seriously, those of you who know the product I sell know that, while some people take longer than others to learn the ins-and-outs of it, it's essentially extremely easy to use and, for someone in the industry (which this guy is, he says), it's purpose is elementary. And I promise you, it wasn't my lack of sales training.

So, he wanted to schedule another webinar with me and some others in his organization, so I could explain it to them and get their agreement to purchase. Of course, I was reluctant, given how small the account is, how much time I had spent already with him, and how painful the last webinar was. But I agreed because, you know, this is my job and commission is my mortgage payment and every little counts.

We scheduled webinar #2 for last week. Two days before, he had his assistant call me to ask me if we can do it at another time on the same day. I agreed because I didn't have anything else scheduled. The day before, the assistant called and tried to reschedule again but this time asks for a time where I already had a scheduled call, so we decide to keep the second agreed-upon time. Then the morning of the webinar, she calls to cancel and says we'll try for next week (now this week.)

Today was the webinar, supposedly at 11am my time (he's on the east coast.) At 8:05 am Pacific my phone lights up like a Christmas tree. Unfortunately, I'm in the bathroom at that time and have to let it go to voicemail. By the time I get back to my phone 2-3 minutes later, I have FOUR curt voicemails and two emails from him asking me where I am. Yes, he misread 11am PACIFIC as 11am EASTERN. Because, you know, Pacific and Eastern look so similar in an email.

Like a true professional, despite being dressed in my sweaty workout gear, I throw my barking, yapping dogs in the back yard and jump online. I just wanted this guy out of my hair today so I can move forward into the weekend with positive vibes.

I just got off the webinar and I'm about ready to tear my hair out.

There was 5 people in the room with him and they proceeded to talk to each other the entire time I was talking, and not in whispters. Again, my contact frequently talked over me, asked rabbit-hole questions (that I had already provided that answer to if only he had been listening), and behaved like an insolent 5 year old.

What's worse, no one person was "at the helm" so everyone was talking to each other and asking questions of me at the same time. One person would ask me to show them something and then someone else would disagree and tell me to do something else. Then a third person would disagree with both of them or argue the basic validity of the point they were trying to make. Internal fighting would ensue, leaving me with my head in my hands at my desk.

It got to the point where, a couple of times, I just stopped talking and listened to them bicker amongst themselves. After about 2-3 minutes it would go quiet in the room as they realized that I wasn't talking anymore. I gave it a few seconds and then I said "Are you ready for me to continue now?" which illicited multiple responses and further back-and-forth banter.

At 9am I wrapped it up, having only skimmed 40% of what I would normally talk about, and told them I had another meeting to attend. I told them I would reactivate their demo so, again, they could play with it to their heart's content. At which point my contact asked me if I could do some of the custom programming we had discussed, before I sent the demo over. When I told him that I needed a signed contract to do any work on his behalf, he ignored me and continued to reiterate his point about why the programming needed to be done (a point which was not under dispute.) Again, in-fighting ensued.

"Ok guys, well, thanks for your time. I'll send you an email with your demo account details," I said and put the phone down.

I was nice but I was getting to the point where I couldn't be any longer.

I pray to god they dissapear off my prospect list. If they're like this BEFORE they sign up, can you imagine how much time they'll waste once they become a client.


Now I'm going to take a shower and attempt an attitude readjustment for the day.

1 comment:

e said...'re on candid camera!

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