Selling it

Introducing an innovation in one’s firm is a little bit like the role of a salesperson (vendor/rep./etc.). I would argue this a very important role if you intend to be successful, as innovations seldom sell themselves. There’s always someone in the line of approvals who doesn’t see the value. In a past life, I was a salesman for a short period.

In the mid-90’s I was an Account Executive at a routing logistics software company, and I was responsible for the Northeast USA. I made “sales calls” and introduced value justifications for purchasing the innovative system of ours to trucking and delivery companies. The technology was so new that few people had even heard of computer routing, let alone had a computer doing anything for them in this regard. I wasn’t very good at selling the system but I learned a lot about sales and the drivers that lead to them. Now that the tables are turned, and I am typically on the purchasing side of things, I feel I have some very useful insight to help negotiate and get the best deals for my firm. On the other hand I am also in “sales” to some degree. I’m selling the partners on why we should spend gobs of money on something that they’ve never hear of or understand fully. I do this because I take ownership of the technological path of the company and see the “big picture” as it were.

Techniques with which to introduce and “sell” within our firms might be a good topic of discussion. DTS is a week away and we’ll be discussing innovation and aspects surrounding it, among other things.

Bring your own questions, challenges, ideas, and conundrums!

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