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Mark Hunter

Jill - A homerun with your comments. You nailed exactly how I felt when I was in my corporate role. It was not unusual to be double-booked or even-triple booked with meetings at any given time. Salespeople would routinely insult me by parading in with great ideas to help the company but they had zero relevance to the key issue I was fighting that day. Unless it was something that was going to deal with the key issues I was dealing on that day or month I wasn't interested. My motto was don't tell me I need to drain the swamp...that's old news, rather, help me keep the alligators off my feet right now. Second rule I had: If I do call a salesperson looking for something I'm more than likely looking for information to reinforce a decision I've made already or to cover myself should I be asked by the C-suite.
Mark Hunter / The Sales Hunter

John Windsor

That was great, Jill. This should be required reading for everyone in Sales -- and Marketing, and Product Marketing, and PR, and anyone with a CXO title.

Meanwhile, this is just as applicable to presentations as it is to cold calls, email solicitations, etc.

Nice job!


Hey, based on your article, I had a real success. I called a CEO and instead of telling him, "I know how busy you must be" which I realized from your article is not strictly true!

Instead, I said "you, know, I would tell you how I know you are busy, but I realize that with the issues in front of you, I cannot even begin to Imagine how busy you must be. I think I can help you with one particular challenge"

That really opened him up, and loosened up the atmosphere.

I then went on to detail in 30 seconds, his challenge and my solution, we were on the phone for 15 minutes after that and he wants to set up an appointment with him and his Sr. VP.

I thought you might enjoy this success driven by you! You are great Jill!

Koka Sexton

Jill, I love your posts from the other side of the table. Many sales people need to understand what the prospect is thinking and adjust their tactics. I am new to you blog, but will be continuing to check in. Thanks for the great post. I will be adding a link on my site.

Chris Marlow

Hi Jill,

I love this letter!

So succinct and "real" :)

As you know, I have all my Full Course coaching students read your Selling to Big Companies book.

Now I'll ask them to come here and read your letter too, as a reminder of what it's really like out there, and what we have to do to get a positive response from our marketing efforts!

Nigel Edelshain


Great post!

You really capture the real world of business today. I think most of us feel the way you describe here.

I just read your personas post also and this post tied together with that one should be one of the first things sales people think about when they plan a prospecting campaign.

One added element you might add is (like me): I have 3 kids and don't have any time in the evening either, so time during the day is even more critical because many days have a "hard stop" at 6PM!

Great work!


Douglass Davidoff

First time reader, first time caller. Your letter from the lead was so accurate, and the comments are excellent. Just thought you'd like to know, we recommend your "What Sales Really Needs From Marketing" to our enewsletter readers. Great blog - went straight into my RSS reader!

Douglass Davidoff, APR
Senior Writer
Canright Communications

Ciara Writer

Genius post, thanks!
It is really quite true, most marketing attempts are filled with "We can do this better" and "We have done this for x years", blah blah blah.
What people want to know, right NOW, is what can you do for them?

revive ramesh

jill - super commentary on how busy coroporate execs are and how precise,pointed and relevant marketers need to be...but here is the sad part -

... well - if people are really like the way you mentioned in your note I wonder how and when anything gets ever done "well" in corporations.

Zoom in Zoom out. Low attention span. Poor time management and wow - what a lifestyle...

Is this true?

Are many people out there leading business life's like that?

Or is it some part of a big dramatization that you made up to make your point about communication...

Jill, you do raise the right issues and give lots of ammunition to marketers and teachers but it seems to me that all the technology, the great business ideas and the "lifestyle" we all lead has led us to believe - that being busy like your protagonist and being savvy to sift out messages is the way to be.

Sounds Strange to me..

Sadly, leading or working in a business like like the way your character does is a sure fire way to die sooner of a heart attack with a mobile phone stuck to ones' year.

In all this drama there is however a solid point: you need to be timely, relevant, simple and attractive in your messaging...

Jill Konrath

Remish - I agree with you 100%. It is a sad commentary on life in the corporate world. My heart truly goes out to all the people who are trapped in that environment. It's not humane. Plus, many are really disengaged - just putting in their time, not their "best." Jill

Troy Bingham

opens your eyes.

Kendra Lee / KLA Group

Jill - as a business executive who receives tons of these calls and has a schedule just like this person, I can relate.

Since my primary role is selling, I try to be kind to these people. But when my plate is overflowing and I'm working nights and weekends to keep up, it's just too hard.

Thanks for this letter. Now, let's help sellers see that business talk is important through our WHOLE relationship! If they do that, I'm sure to buy from them when the time is right!


great... now I have to change all my marketing material and approach towards clients. great article.

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