I was sitting in the office of Chris Karadimis, who was pretty high up the IT food chain of Chase Manhattan Bank. We were also sitting very high up in the WTC, looking over the water and Statue of Liberty. It was exquisite.
I was trying to sell RoLM CBX’s and digital phones into Chase and he said to me “Jon who gives a shit about digital phones”. Handle that objection.
At the time it happened, I thought it was because he was such a political animal that he couldn’t be bothered by such trivial details (the digital phones and PBX really were better) but maybe it was more. Perhaps the aesthetics of the situation were more interesting to him at the moment. Maybe his interests were much greater than phones, as they should be.
I know this guy scared me because he was so good politically and I felt very insecure and tense meeting him. I don't know if I would have been different if I was feeling more confident.
But what I do know is that I was one dimensional and that was not good. It didn't allow me to sense or feel where he was or what he wanted at the moment I was with him.
And if I could have related to him better, he might have been more receptive and open to me, or maybe not.
So the moral to this story is:
- go in with an agenda but be receptive to something totally different
- “read” the mood or place the other person is in
- don't take yourself so seriously
- remember nobody is better or worse or superior to you. We are all human beings trying to do our best
- and there are usually, if not always more important things going on than what you are selling
- meditate more often so you are in that space naturally