A Letter to Sales People from The Customer

This letter is from Mike Ross.  Mikes is V.P. of  IT Service Management and Operations for T-Mobile. Mike is your buyer or just like your buyer. He has a 300 person team and has a $200 million dollar budget. 

I asked Mike to write a letter to sales people (you) in response to my “Letter to Your Prospect.”  In his letter, I asked Mike to describe what he wants in a sales people, (again YOU!)   

Read very carefully, Mike is laying down some good 411.  


Dear Sales Person,

I am the customer.

I have responsibility for IT Operations for a $18B company with 30M plus customers.

Do I bet you on? Do I take a chance?

I am responsible for $100M Opex budget and $100M capex budget.

Why should I invest in your company and your product when I have many competing ways to spend company resources?

I get dozen’s of cold call solicitations every week. I consistently work 50-60 hours per week and my schedule is booked solid two weeks in advance.

Why should I return your call, meeting invite, e=mail? What makes you better, faster, cheaper, safer, smarter than what I have today?

I have 300+ staff.

Do they have the wherewithal to learn, understand, implement the product and derive the value of what you are selling?

I have a dozen vendors I spend $3M or more a year with.

Do you know who they are and why I buy from them?

I have many challenges, problems, issues.

Do you know what they are?

I have a strategy and a 3 year plan.

Do you know what it is? Do you fit it?

I have partners, vendors and suppliers.

Which one are you aspiring to be?

A partner shares risk. My upside is your upside. My downside is your downside. Are you willing to share in that?

A vendor consistently sells me a product or service I need at a fair price and good value and is easy to do business with.

Are you “one and done” or are you willing to be there for the long term?

A supplier gives me a commodity when I have many choices.

Why should I buy from you on a regular basis? Price? Service? Flexibility? Do you have an ‘easy button’?

My company has a strategy, a place in the market, looking to differentiate, striving to improve our position by increasing our lead or catching the competitor in front of me.

Do you know my business, my competitors, my company’s strategy?

I buy from those I have a relationship with, who has proven themselves over time. I can count on them. I can vouch for them.

Can I count on you?

I am the customer. Last time I heard, I’m right.

This is your customer. Make no mistake about it. Mike is like every other buyer out there trying to run their business. Can you sell to Mike?  Could you get Mike to take your call?

Want to better understand what your customer(s) want from a sales person? Have questions? Ask Mike, he has offered to answer your questions in the comments.

Fire away!