Archive for the ‘Work life’ Category

In my field, we do a lot of large group sales. I am currently working on a sale in which there are at least 10 to 15 stakeholders. How do you satisfy that many different people? In my own life, I just recently switched to AT&T fiber. I felt like it was a good decision because I would save some money and get faster Internet speed. But, it hasn’t worked out that way.

We still have our Time Warner Internet and router running. I’ve been using various website speed tests on a bunch of different computers in a series of different locations. The result is that I get better Internet connection through the AT&T fiber and router when I am near their location, but as I move away it gets worse. But, my wife’s new MacBook Pro gets much better connectivity through the old router. If she comes within site of the routers, then the new router works better. But, she works for an online education company and needs fast Internet. There are places in our house where we used to get connectivity and now don’t. The router placement was suggested by AT&T.

What do you do when one of the buyers in the deal is unhappy after delivery?

  1. Take an honest look at your assumptions. Whether a buyer or a seller, it’s important to be honest with yourself about the assumptions you made during the sale. I had spoken with my neighbors and they raved about how great their connection speed was with fiber. I assumed that we all had equal connectivity at the time. Maybe that’s not true. I might’ve had much greater connection speed before AT&T fiber, than they did.
  2. Ask for a service visit.  Life isn’t perfect and neither are products. It might be that some settings are incorrect or some other changes could be made to improve the speed. Ask the company to come in and make sure everything is working properly.
  3. Determine if there are modifications they can be made to solve the issue. When I was selling for a previous company I walked into a situation where a past sales person had made some promises that the new equipment didn’t meet. But, I was able to show some other functionality isin the system that met their needs. It wasn’t exactly what they had been promised, but it delivered nearly identical results. Do you have a better router AT&T?
  4. Have a non-emotional discussion about returning your item. Sometimes, things just don’t work out. If that’s the case then you have to think about returning the item that you purchased or taking back the item that you sold. He doesn’t have to get emotional

I was a selfish scientist. Now, at the time I did not know I was a selfish scientist but instead a person who wanted to surprise others with a completed package of results. That did not happen very often, but what did happen was that I locked people out of my day-to-day science. Collaboration was not something I valued, instead I was “independent”. Starting with my postdoctoral fellowship at Duke I began collaborating mentally but not physically. There were many long and interesting discussions about what interactions might take place during embryogenesis, but no collaboration on experiments to prove it.

My first real experience with collaboration came at Coastal Carolina University when I co-taught an MAT course on Reproductive Biology. It was fun, thinking and planning out how to teach this course, what materials to use, who would teach what lessons. Not long later I ended up at UNC-Chapel Hill as Core Director at the UNC Neuroscience Center. This is where  my interest in collaboration really grew, but in a unique direction. I was writing and spearheading equipment grants and in the process of finding new grants I came across several opportunities that weren’t right for me, but were for two or more faculty members at UNC. I found great joy in connecting faculty members to these grant opportunities.

After my transition to sales, I have found that collaboration is the norm. If you are a customer and you are not collaborating with your sales professionals then you are missing out on an opportunity. If you area sales person and are not collaborating with your customers to find the best solution, then you are doing it wrong.

I blame the election. 

I had a number of dissatisfying meetings or lack of meetings this week. Customers who have asked me to drop everything and provide last minute quotes, those who blew off training and then asked for additional training, some people who asked for help with grants. This week those same people wouldn’t return my calls or emails. 

I blame it on the election. Whether that is actually the reason or not, I think the important thing is to remember that everyone has their own life. You never know whether someone just lost an election, or found out a loved one is ill, or maybe they just had too much of a good time last night. Regardless, keep in mind that what you might view as a slight is probably just preoccupation.