You Need This (Issue 1105)

In which we are reminded that sometimes, even when danger is present or approaching and we can help, we can’t force clients to buy. We have to prepare ourselves and wait for them.

“So, basically, you’re saying to them, ‘You need this!’”

I was speaking to an emergency incident response manager responsible at the Federal level for moving people and equipment to States reeling from emergencies – hurricanes, large fires, earthquakes, etc.

“Yes,” he replied, “For example, we see a major storm coming – a Category 4 hurricane that will collapse houses and blow out high rise windows. We call the State-level response managers to talk about what they may need. We have good models about likely damage and inventories of their resources and we say, ‘You’re really going to need more X, Y, and Z. If the State response managers say, ‘Naw, we’re good,” I can’t do anything. I have to wait until the State response managers ask for assistance.”

“So,” I said, repeating myself, “you’re basically saying, ‘you need this, you should say ‘yes’.”

“Right,” he confirmed, “but I can’t force them to say ‘yes’…even ‘though they’ll have a need and I’m able to provide resources. As the storm approaches, I have to work them through it – ‘what if…. what if… what if… If they STILL don’t ask for assistance, then we say something like, ‘Great, sounds like you have things under control, and why don’t we just get some paperwork started so it’s in process and, if it turns out you don’t need anything, we can pull the paperwork out of the queue.”

“Do they go along with that?”, I asked.

He sipped on his iced tea.

“Sometimes,” he said. “Sometimes….”

Nick Miller is President of Clarity Advantage based in Concord, MA. He assists banks and credit unions to generate more and more profitable relationships, faster, with business clients, their owners, and their employees through better sales strategies and execution. Additional articles on Clarity’s web site.

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