Sales Lessons from the Oil Spill

What a terrible tragedy the Gulf oil spill is for everyone concerned with effects far and wide.  Fisherman, hoteliers and FTSE100 investors.

I read at the weekend that BP could have bought a plug or technically put, an acoustic shut off switch, for each rig which would have solved the problem. But this cost $500,000 a plug so they deemed it too expensive at the time.

Looks like a bargain now after the event.

And this is the point. If the salesperson who sold the plug had painted the ultimate devastation of an oil spill off the US coastline, then it might have appeared a bargain even if this event is on the radar as a low probability/high impact occurrence.

$500,000 per plug seemed a lot of money and not of value because the benefits weren’t sold strongly enough, or in this case, the implications.

So do your products or services solve low probability/high impact events?  Insurance comes to mind as does data backup services. If so, make sure you help your customer see the impact that these events can have and the likely cost to them. Only then will they see the bargain in front of them.

And I bet the salesperson of the acoustic shut off switch is kicking themselves right now.