We’ve been doing a lot more exhibitions recently. They’ve become a key source of new member recruitment for EC and I’ve delivered a few talks at some of these shows, one of which was at Excel in London. It was a really big show. For the businesses that had paid to exhibit, this was one of their biggest weeks of the year. I arrived early and was wandering around the stand when I came across a company selling something that I was genuinely really interested in. It was probably going to be a £5,000 sale.
There were only a couple of staff on this particular stand and both were already in conversation, so I waited patiently for this guy who, it turns out, is actually a partner in the business.
I ask him some questions and fill out a prospect form (by the way, he did actually call it a “Prospect Form” which is a really dumb name for it, don’t you think?)
He then explains that he’ll have his Sales Rep (yes, that’s what he stupidly calls him!) follow up with me and schedule an appointment to come and see me so he can give us a quote.
Now, you’d be quite right to question why, at this point, he made no effort whatsoever to book the appointment right there and then and get it in the diary. But hold on, dear reader, because it
gets even worse…
I walked away from the stand with nothing. Zilch. No testimonial booklet, no book, not even a brochure.
As I write this, it’s more than three weeks since that exhibition and I’ve not had a phone call.
Even if they did ring now, which I suspect they won’t, there’s no way I’m doing business with them.
Why does this matter?
Well, firstly, the owner of this business spent their hard earned cash on exhibition space at a very pricey national event, and then, frankly, pissed away the opportunities it presented. Their wives and families are poorer because of their stupidity.
Secondly, what’s almost certainly happened here is that the owner has handed the Prospect Forms over to a salesman who has done nothing with them. That same business owner, it appears, who is too dumb and lazy to have kept copies of those forms, has not asked for – and got – an activity report from his salesman of the calls that he’s made and the results that have been generated, and neither has he checked up on him by ringing at least two or three of the leads, who, don’t forget, the owner himself had met at this exhibition and who subsequently did not turn into appointments.
Bonkers doesn’t come close.
Next, the economy of our country depends on idiots like this and they’re part of what I fear is, in truth, a growing number of inept businesses, both large and small, who are letting us all down.
The product this guy is selling is not manufactured by him. In essence, he is a dealer, which means there’s an organisation above him, part of which will be a team with the responsibility for sales and they’re not doing their jobs either because they’re letting him behave like this.
Large parts of his product are manufactured in the UK and, as we all know, UK manufacturing is up against it when faced with cheap imports, so the owners of those factories, the people that work in them and their families and children are all suffering because these buffoons are not doing their jobs properly. And if you think about it even further, at least one of the manufacturers involved is a PLC and their share price will be suffering, and, consequently, pension funds are diminished because of what’s (not) happening here.
And don’t even get me talking about all the technology and systems that are available that are not being used for practical, effective purposes here. CRM anyone?
In short, these despicable incompetents and their slop-like ways of running their businesses are endangering our entire country. And I hate them for it.
It couldn’t happen in your business could it?