Chapter Four: Relationships; 6 April
My son, if sinful men entice you, do not give in to them.
|Just Say “No Way” and Go Away|
The lawyers crafted a brilliant marketing piece. They took a complicated international financial transaction and made it simple to understand and easy for a client to purchase. Attorneys as salesmen?
Surprised and proud, I took the marketing campaign with a substantial budget request to the CEO .
It got us fired.
Your Business Professor once ran sales and marketing for a worldwide financial services firm. Only a handful of lawyers in the country understood the transaction and I was not one of them. So I directed the legal team to untangle the miles of wires and deliver a flow chart of ‘money in and benefit out.’ My sales team could then sell me and then sell to the client.
In a sales presentation a confused mind always says, “No.” We were getting a lot of global confusion, which made for a long sales cycle—that we, the salesmen, were causing. The product procedures were frightfully complicated and impossible to understand. But the benefits were easy to grasp which motivated the client. It was the ‘features and advantages’ that were entangling. I was looking for a presentation to simplify the process.
The features are what a product ‘is.’
The advantages are what a product ‘does’ and the benefit is what the customer gets.
Features; Advantages; Benefits — FAB. Simple. This works across cultures.
George Washington in his farewell address said that we should be prudent about foreign affairs and entanglements. And to avoid enticement both in global politics and personal business. He said it would be, “no less applicable to public than to private affairs, that honesty is always the best policy.”
I should have paid attention sooner to the relationships and obligations Washington was warning about. It would have saved me from ever having to get to The Big Argument.
The CEO and his partners turned down our marketing request. I pushed back. They pushed backed and reminded me of the commission income to be earned. I pushed again with my logical self. They oddly stonewalled and went dark.
I started to look at other career opportunities. It felt like I would soon be taking that move or ‘getting a chance to spend more time with the family.’
And it soon came to pass. We all parted company. I finally did get an explanation, of sorts.
The CEO told me, “We don’t want the customers to know too much how this works.” It turns out that he didn’t want the FBI to know too much either.
The partners were later separated from their families by the legal system.
Proverbs 1:10 has it right, My son, if sinful men entice you, do not give in to them.