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SalesUnscripted Interview: Jason Kanigan with Jim Padilla

SalesUnscripted: Let's interview Jason Kanigan on the culture, values and principles of your business...and how they affect your sales & work you deliver.

Jim Padilla of Gain The Edge To Interview Jason Kanigan

The founder of one of the largest third party sales and launch organizations has Jason Kanigan on as his guest in this deep level podcast.

This is a key interview for founders, CEOs, and department managers who want to understand business growth.

An important "project death point" Jason covers is the Start Gap: how it can damage not only the project and its profitability but also the relationship between your company and your customer.

Jim digs into Jason's unique point of view about sales, and how that applies to a business primarily centered on process improvement.

If you want to know more about Jason Kanigan's perspective on selling & business, this is a Can't Miss discussion between two sales experts.

>>If you have problems in your sales process that you need to identify and fix, book a consultation with Jason here.<<

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Perverse Incentives And Your Business

Perverse incentives are everywhere. I guarantee you've got at least one in your business right now.

ARE YOUR BUSINESS PROCESSES AS CRAZY AS THIS?

cambodia a book for people who find television too slow perverse incentives

I was talking about Cambodia: A Book for People Who Find Television Too Slow (NOT an affiliate link) and it triggered another memory.

This was another little European colonial adventure into darkest Africa. The name of the game was “Take The Rubber” so that natural resource could be used back in the civilized world. The Congo was divvied up between some corporate concessions and here’s where things start to get weird.

Perverse Incentives In The Belgian Congo

Some soldiers were required to account for every single bullet they’d been issued.

They either had to have the shell...or the hand of a native they’d presumably dispatched with said ammunition.

Humans being occasionally awful, you can see where this is headed.

Emil decides he wants rabbit for a late afternoon snack. Not being the greatest shot, he pops off three shells before hitting his target.

Let’s say The High Command is all right with the rabbit accounting for one of the shells. But the first two shots? Them bullets have to be accounted for somehow.

A lot of Congolese ended up walking around as amputees.

Logical. Right? The ultimate in Lawful Evil mentality, for you gamers.

Your Business And Perverse Incentives

My question for you today is: Are there processes in your business that are as nuts as some of those of the Belgian Congo? Are you measuring and creating results because of a robotic “If This Then That” conformity with loony premises? Is it time to make a change towards sanity?

Additional examples of perverse incentives are the:

  • Soviet era glass plant, first making too-thick and then too-thin glass, neither of which was useful to anyone but still satisfying the incentive structure
  • System that at first rewarded private firms transporting prisoners to Australia by the number of convicts loaded at departure, rather than those who arrived at the destination...leading to overcrowding and unnecessary deaths
  • time IBM attempted to produce more robust code by rewarding programmers by the line, which instead lead to bloated programs.

I describe a factory that produced a production scam with its piecework reward structure from my own experience in this podcast.

Government organizations such as the US Department of Veterans Affairs are not exempt from claims of perverse incentives.

Perverse incentives are particularly common in sales compensation programs.

Frankly, if you think your system is "too good for" or somehow exempt from perverse incentives, you probably aren't looking hard enough.

>> Jason Kanigan is a business strategist trained in operations improvement methodologies. To book a time to discuss your situation with Jason, click here. <<

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Features and Price

Features and price have a weird sales connection:

When you start talking about features, your prospect starts thinking about price.

If all you talk about is features, you sound like every other seller in your marketplace.

So if you want to stand out in a crowded market, here's how to do it:

Talk about something else.

features and price

A decade ago I was business development manager for a full service IT firm back in Vancouver. The copy for our website talked about how we "understood your business" if you were a client and didn't "just talk techie jargon." I was real happy with it until I saw a few competitor sites.

Darn it.

We were all saying the same things. Nothing was there that helped us stand out. Back to the drawing board.

Move the Sales Conversation Off Features and Price

If you're in web design, don't talk about web design.

If you're in car sales, don't talk about cars.

If you're in marketing consulting, don't talk about marketing.

Chiropractors who aren't making any money talk about cracking backs at chiropractor conferences.

Poor web designers talk about web design when they get together.

People who aren't making money at the thing talk about the thing.

Don't talk about features. You won't stand out.

Don't talk about features. You'll induce your prospect to start thinking about price.

When a prospect has nothing to compare you to others on than technical features, all their decision comes down to is price.

They don't have anything else to make that decision on, do they. They don't know about anything else.

Do you want gearheads as clients?

Maybe you do. You know, the person who always has to be right about this or that technicality. The one who will question your every move. The one you have to keep making the sale to as you go, because they know better than you despite you being the expert they hired.

That's who you'll attract if all you talk about is features.

Stop Making Your Prospect Think About Features and Price

Stand Out by taking about something else. Something different than what every boring, cookie cutter version of you is talking about in the industry.

Talk about your branding. Talk about your experiences. Talk about who you've helped.

Talk about pain points. Talk about success stories. Talk about results.

Talk about anything else than the dull, unexciting pabulum everyone else in your field is tone-deafly reciting.

In my case with the IT firm, I went back to the drawing board and started talking about client success stories instead. This filtered for the right kind of managed services and custom programming clients.

>> Jason Kanigan is a conversion expert and business strategist. To book a call with Jason to discuss your business, click here.