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  • Adriaan Walpot

Teach a man to fish, Sell fishing gear.

Maybe you have heard about Pipedrive.

It's a great tool to actively manage your client relationships.


The online tool allows you to efficiently plan your activities to optimize your sales on your laptop, and then start calling and tracking the results from your phone.

The tool is similar to Teamleader and Hubspot.

During 5 working days, I tried all 3 of them, and while they are so similar that I like all 3 of them, I find that Pipedrive gives me the most actionable oomph, so to speak.


As it turned out, today my trial period of Pipedrive is over.

Because I want to continue reaching out in an organised way, I upgraded to the formula that fits me best.

And by chance, just today I get this email message from Pipedrive with the following funny quote:

"Catch a man a fish, and you can sell it to him. Teach a man to fish, and you ruin a wonderful business opportunity."

Oh yeah, that's a quote by Karl Marx, of course.


Now, I'm a fan of a good joke, but man, this feels so misguided, especially for a CRM system. Time to put things straight.


Yes, this quote, -as funny as it is-, leaves such an opportunity on the table that I feel obliged to point it out. Even so, kuddos for Pipedrive to have the courage to come up with a bit risky yet well-intended humor in their communication. This post is not about Pipedrive, but really about getting my core conviction across, because I believe that selling is telling like it is.


You see, in the real world as it is, our piece of the pie does not shrink if somebody else's pie grows. The pie increases in size when we are truly creating value, and both parties (or more) can profit from it. In this world, there is only 1 effective and durable way to sell and that is to sell real value.



So, when I help my clients forward, I look forward to the moment, -usually after a period of about 2 years-, that they have acquired the independence to move forward on their own. It means that on the journey to get to that destination, we have swom together through interesting waters:

  • designed new customer experiences,

  • developed new client-facing applications,

  • integrated back-end programs and data services,

  • set up new business processes, and,

  • make sure that everyone in the organisations adopt this new environment.

It is rewarding to be training a team of junior, medior and senior managers to be able to do what you have jointly (1) discovered that needs to be done and (2) made possible by putting everything in place. Am I losing a sale at that moment? Or am I working to create the market where I want to live in?


Indeed, every project delivered is an opportunity to check if the fishing gear that I'm selling excites me enough to be a good sales person. I hope you are hooked on this idea as well and that you 'catch' the subtle wordplay in the last sentence...

See, while this humor is way too accomodating, -compared to Pipedrive's daring and exciting communication play!-, at least we're clear about the values that drive our sales.



Bonus image: cute picture that came up in a search for 'fish'.

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