Mind On The Gutter (Issue 1026)

In which we are reminded that spray and pray sales tactics usually fail if value is the key to success.

“Is there any water coming out?”

We live in house built in 1873. Five gutter systems on three levels channel water from deck and roof surfaces to ground. Early in our residence, we installed mesh gutter guards to reduce the frequency and extent of gutter clogs and downspout blockages caused by accumulated leaves from surrounding trees. And, we’ve learned that gutter guards don’t prevent everything from getting into the gutters. We still need to clean them.

Our first strategy for cleaning gutters and downspouts is “the hose” – directing highish-pressure water into downspout mouths to push through any blockage, and along the length of the gutters, to drive in-gutter debris toward and down a downspout.

We hope this works (“Is there any water coming out?”)  because, if it doesn’t, we have to lift up each gutter guard section and, with our trowels or fingers, scoop out gutter muck and dredge downspout mouths. Time-consuming, dirty work. In November, fingers chill quickly.

If there’s any significant blockage, spray all you want. Nothing moves.

As I was demucking one of the gutters, I was thinking, as one does. I recalled a day when I was watching a client sales team work through an elegant business-to-business sales simulation, “Planet X”. Some participants play roles as bar and restaurant owners. Other participants become sales teams that sell different varieties of flavored water to the bars and restaurants.

At one point in this client’s simulation, several sales teams deployed members to circulate through the simulation space holding up signs promoting their water brands.

I asked their sales leader, “What’s happening?” [because the path to victory on Planet X lies in adding value to bar and restaurant relationships through service, information, and professional advice, beyond pricing and product features].

He laughed and replied, “They have grown up with the idea that, to boost sales, we ramp up advertising and they call clients and prospects to pitch our latest product or pricing promotion hoping that the promotion will prompt them to switch vendors or purchase more.”

Kind of like spraying water into clogged gutters hoping that the muck will move.

Nick Miller and Clarity train banks and bankers to attract and develop deeper relationships with small businesses. Many more Sales Thoughts like this and a host of other articles and resources at https://clarityadvantage.com/knowledge-center/ .

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