Who Should Lead the Sale? The Palin Factor

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By Allan Boress, CPA, CVA - Poof… You’re a sales consultant hired by one of two CPA firms to help them win a client that only comes up for review every four years.

There are 7 days of presentations and meetings left; the audit committee is making its decision on Nov 4.

Your client is led by an industry veteran, someone who has over 20 years of practical hands-on experience. This senior partner has been recognized as a leader in the field of public accounting. Unfortunately, this man is a true technician with few people or communication skills.

The competition’s senior partner has almost no experience at all. Amazingly, he has a history of hanging out with gents who actually hate your company. However, he is a smooth operator and the client’s decision-makers really are impressed. It looks like they client will pick his firm.

This is why you are brought in at the last minute: to help pull out a win in a situation that should’ve been a slam-dunk for your side.

The junior partner on the competition is a non-entity. But your junior partner, although light on experience, has almost the same outstanding communication skills as the lead partner of the competition.

What would you advise, Mr/Ms Consultant?

Should your side’s junior partner now take over the sale?

Or do you plunder on led by a man who couldn’t sell water in the Sahara?

There are always valuable sales and marketing lessons to be learned by watching political parties go at it. Let them spend hundreds of millions teaching your firm how to better market and close more sales.

In this case, the McCain campaign is making the same mistake I have seen hundreds of firms make over the years: the wrong person is doing the selling. And this lack of communication and sales ability are causing them to lose.

But Allan, the “client” is hiring the lead partner and his team, not the junior who will fill a minor role!

So what? Would you rather lose by doing it the “right way,” or maybe win by stepping out of the box?

If little ol’ me was advising the McCain campaign, I would tell them to trash all of the stuff that obviously isn’t working, and turn all commercials and communication over to Mrs. Palin, somebody in Obama’s sales league. It would be their only chance to pull out a victory, because the senior partner cannot sell.

By Allan Boress, CPA, CVA – author of The “I-Hate-Selling” Book, available at amazon.com


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