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August 14, 2009
Make it Easy

Back when I first got out of college, I started a job with a local electronics manufacturer.  I quickly befriended several people in different departments.  One such person, was my friend Nancy B. who ran the purchasing department. 

One day I asked Nancy about a getting a new computer for my cubicle and she told me that she’ll order me a new IBM XT (I started my business life eons ago and IBM XTs were state-of-the-art). 

When I told her that there were other computers at a much lower cost and better performance (thinking that I’ll help her save money for the company and make her look good for doing so) she told me..."no...we just buy IBM here". 

I was very curious about her reasoning as I was just a few weeks removed from being "poor college student" where every penny mattered AND I had just graduated in computer engineering so I definitely knew about the latest computer technology.

Her reasoning about buying was eye-opening for me...and something I never forgot..."you see Jim...my job isn’t about saving the company money...it’s about avoiding problems that could potentially hurt the company and come back at me in the future...if I buy an IBM...I can always says...hey I bought the best product available (at the time) ...it’s not my fault if the product failed...however if I were to have bought another brand without such a reputation as IBM...I couldn’t use that reasoning to escape possible trouble coming back at me".

So many companies (actually people within the companies) act in the same manner as my fiend Nancy...they can’t take the chance to try something new and possibly be wrong...

However...time proves over and over that "NEW" is where the innovation comes from...it’s where a company can create an edge against their competition because of lower pricing...it is where they can add a new feature that adds BENEFIT to their product...

But in this day and age, where one person is doing the job of three (or more)...people don’t have the time to research "new"...they just need it off their desk...

It’s our job as salespeople, as innovators, as buyers and engineers to seek out quality products and services and make it easy for our customers to readily adopt them...

We need to do the analysis, we need to demonstrate the cost-savings, the space-savings, the faster, the better, the easier...It’s not up to our customers to find the products that we have...we have to take the lead...we need need to remove the doubt and apprehension that a buyer, engineer, or salesperson might have.  WE NEED TO MAKE IT EASY FOR OUR CUSTOMER TO BUY FROM US!

Ask yourself this important question:  What am I doing right now to make it easier for my customer to know what I sell, to create trust that the products I represent will add more value to them than the existing products that they are using, and to make the total buying experience better for my customer??

If you can’t come up with any answers to the above question...then get out of the business...because you’re not adding anything to the value equation and are doomed to mediocrity...

Thank you very much for your unwavering support of OptiFuse where we want to make buying (and selling) easier...

Jim Kalb


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