Tip of the Month
The IMPAX Tip of the Month is written for business development professionals who have learned and are implementing the IMPAX Process (in the form of IMPAX Strategic Account Sales Process, IMPAX Superior Account Management Process and IMPAX Strategic Inside Sales Process, among others). These Tips deal with subjects including Research, Communication and Presentation. For more Tips on dealing with Procurement, interviewing, relationship development, effective presentation delivery and much more, see the Tip of the Month archive and our book, Beyond Selling Value.
Considering the Rules
Rules are a big part of our lives and our work. Here is a partial definition of the word “Rule”:
- A principle or regulation governing conduct, action, procedure; “the rules of the game”
- The customary or normal practice; “the rule rather than the exception”
- An authoritative, prescribed direction for conduct; “this is how you must reply to this RFP”
Look at this from a sales and account management perspective. When we see rules in an RFP or other form of customer engagement, they dictate how we are supposed to do our work. We have to determine if the rules work for us. When you consider specific rules you are facing, ask yourself these 4 questions:
- Who put the rule in place? Someone decided that these would be good rules of engagement.
- Who does it benefit? Don’t be fooled by people who would say that the rules are in place to create fairness. Rules always benefit someone. Remember that “RFPs are written by someone for someone”. As an example, consider the “blackout rule” (you cannot contact anyone during the tender period or you will be disqualified). This rule benefits the incumbent, who has a greater degree of knowledge and other reasons to be at the account.
- How does the rule fit with your personal beliefs? What if a rule is designed to turn your offering into a commodity by creating apples to apples comparisons? Are you okay with that? What is your job description and how does being commoditized help you to be successful for yourself, your company and your customer?
- What are the benefits and consequences associated with breaking the rules? What are the pros and cons? Does the potential reward outweigh the potential risk?
Just because they are rules doesn’t make them right.
Every month IMPAX provides thousands of sales and account management professionals with a thought leading Tip of the Month. These tips support and expound on the IMPAX Process by addressing topics such as executive presentation delivery skills, powerful gatekeeper strategies and compelling interviewing techniques.
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