Bear with me through just a tad of fundamental economics. It’s a needed foundation for being honest with yourself about my real question in this post.
- If you were mildly hungry and loved bananas, how many would you buy if they cost $9,000 each? Lots or none? (Point #1 on the blue curve)
- Same question, but now assume you could lock in a lifetime supply at 10 for $1? Lots or none? (Point #2 on the blue curve)
- If you had sole ownership of a banana farm and they were flying off the shelves at $9,000 a pop, how many would you try to pick each day? Lots or none? (Point #3 on the red curve)
- Same question, but now a 12 hour workday yields $8.12 in banana-picking profit? (Point #4 on the red curve)
Rep #1 can Find Demand. There are lots of prospects out there looking for the “X” that #1 is selling, and he has a knack for spotting them. Good ole’ #1 also has an outstanding work ethic; making call after call after call. Nobody will outwork him! He’ll track ’em down and if he’s low bidder, he’ll win.
Rep #2 can Capture Demand. She’s smart. She follows all the Type #1s around knowing they will lead her to qualified opportunities. Then she engages in heated competition hoping that no other #2s are around. She regularly beats the #1s, but when there are three or four other type 2s in mix, things can get dicey. The RFPs can get more complex. Presentation/demonstration prep can consume a lot of time. The pressure to add more bells, whistles and services (for free), can get pretty intense. Oh, but work-ethic-wise, she’s no slouch either!
Rep #3 can Create Demand. Our intrepid type 3 rarely if ever responds to an RFP. #3 doesn’t even pay too much attention to the problems of all the decision influencers. #3 spends the day defining and developing solutions to problems the prospect hasn’t even thought about yet. Every now and again #3 waltzes into the customer’s office with a recommendation for action, complete with a detailed financial justification for its implementation. From the decision-maker’s perspective, its’ ROI on a silver platter.
Now go back to the supply and demand curve. How high is the supply of type #1s? (High.) How many type #3s are around? (Few.) How many type #2s? (Somewhere in the middle.)
What’s the relative pay for each type of sales rep? What’s your focus? Where do you want to live? Find; Capture or Create?