Monday, March 05, 2007

gasp: you want the product to do *what*?

Sing along with me - how many times have you gotten a call from A Valued Sales Colleague (VSC) that sounded something like this:

VSC: Hi Bob, can you tell me when the next version is coming out?

Bob: (Immediately senses danger and feigns a seizure) Ack, cough.

VSC: Are you OK?

Bob: Yes, I'm fine. Thanks for the call. I'll talk to you later.

VSC: You didn't answer my question.

Bob: You had a question?

VSC: Yes. I need to know when the next version is coming out.

Bob: What's wrong with the version you have?

VSC: The customer said they'd buy if we could give them an articulated frabjulator.

Bob: We don't have an articulated frabjulator. In fact, we have no intention of ever having an articulated frabjulator, as we are not in the articulated frabjulator market.

VSC: That's a problem, because that's what they're buying. I need you to build it into the next release so we can compete.

Bob: (attempts to climb through the phone and give the VSC his best super angry face)

VSC: Hello?

I really don't have much of lesson here. No real wisdom, nothing enlightening. This post was written to express two simple things:

1. Sometimes sales people must be rendered into lard. But with love, for we love all of our good friends in sales for their many sacrifices and their zen-like focus on the Almighty Dollar.

2. Sometimes you find a picture out on the intrawebs you just have to appropriate. Such as the one above, which perfectly expresses the product manager's true feelings, and potentially the product manager's Actual Expression, when he (or she) gets a call like the one documented above.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

the lesson is that they don't need the articulated frabjulator...they need the words, context and stories as to why the "prospective customer" doesn't need the articulated frabjulator. The sales guy is looking for something to sell...when they don't have product to sell, they'll positioning or vision (that may or may not exist).

If, at the end of the day, neither the positioning, vision or stories work, then we need to point the sales guy (or gal) at another prospective customer.