Annoy and win business – ask the right questions
I annoyed a CEO today, but got business. I have realized that you’ve to be bold to excel. Here are our exchanges with my prospect CEO.
Me: How much do you estimate your company loses to fraud on an annual basis?
CEO: We have no fraud here.
Me: On which basis do you say so? Have you done fraud risk assessment recently? Who did it for you?
CEO: Not yet. We have no fraud.
Me: Have you read the ACFE.com research that estimates that an average business loses over 5% of their annual revenue to fraud? And that most business that think they have no fraud risk, are actually having a bigger problem. You see, fraud is clandestine. It is done with intention to conceal and it takes a skilled fraud examiner with the right tools to identity the losses. Do you know that having several system down time is a sign of something fishy?
CEO: By the way, you might be right. Recently, our servers were off almost for four hours.
Me: You see, you might be having no skills and internal capacity to ‘see fraud clearly’ in your company. Let’s do a fraud risk assessment and training. If you are losing US $300,000 annually, I just need US $10,000 to give you a clear fraud prevention strategy. By the end of my pitch, we had become buddies and he called HR to organize my intervention asap immediately after Easter.
Selling these days is a hard one. Once you get to the right audience, keep asking the right questions. It takes persistent and breaking the “ice” to get business.