Recently I was looking to buy a car. I did my research, collected my prerequisites, and contacted some companies/ car stands. I found myself on a side that has not been familiar to me in recent years: being on the side of the customer, who's looking for a serious long-term investment. We all know that getting a car is not the same as buying an IT service/product, but it’s also not like buying a new pair of socks!
I have recently joined Imaginary Cloud as the new Business & Sales Developer. I have more than 4 years of experience in the IT industry and (because of the car) I found myself wondering about the main differences that could exist between working as a Sales Representative in IT and in Automotive sectors.
It started as, what we in the Business & Sales industry usually call, a Lead. By definition, a Lead is an opportunity to sell a service or product to a customer. And the Lead in my case, started when I had contacted these companies directly with my specifications and requirements. In the IT world, because there is a lot of competitiveness and supply, whenever a Lead falls on us, it's like a gift from heaven, so it's our first priority to contact the customer directly. In the automotive sector there is also a lot of competition between brands, however, the demand for services and products turns out to be more recurrent. But... what happens when you don't have a Lead? Yeah, that sounds like a normal Monday to me. In the IT industry, prospecting is almost our second name, also known as Cold Calling / Emailing.
After I was considered a Lead myself, some companies rushed to connect and contact me, while others - let's just say - I'm still waiting for their contact (ps. I'm not interested anymore, thanks!!). Regarding test drive scheduling, in some scenarios it was easy like Sunday morning, while in other cases I almost had to beg to try the car. But I got there, and after a few test drives, my decision was almost made. I can tell you I did not only choose the car, but I also chose the salesman. When you buy something expensive you expect someone who truly connects with you and understands your needs and the importance of the product for you. After a few rounds of negotiation, (and as you understood by now, I'm a salesman myself too) the deal was finally closed.
And how can this be a lesson learned for the IT industry? In fact, you can't take anything at work for granted, and every time I have a Lead being given to me, I take advantage of it with the maximum possible strength. I do what it takes to build up a great relationship and formulate business proposals about what Imaginary Cloud can offer in a meaningful way. Communication is key, so it is my job to understand and qualify the clients needs and interests, providing them with information on our products as well as on a possible collaboration. In a moment when the large majority of organisations are adopting new strategies to keep up with new technologies processes and trends, I will definitely ensure that Imaginary Cloud will enable them to stay competitive throughout our products and services development.
At the end of the day, I want to treat my customers as I would like to be treated, whether I buy a car or a new t-shirt. :)