Are you selling to a professional or an amateur?

A professional is going to buy from someone like you. They’re going to have a process to review the process, a method, an experienced approach to obtaining what they need. A professional isn’t going to think she can do it herself and isn’t going to make it an emergency.

An amateur, on the other hand, may or may not follow any of those principles. An amateur is comparing you to what? A miracle? To free? To something in between?

Professionals run the procurement process at Pottery Barn. Amateurs buy a new house every fifteen years. Professionals buy from other professionals. Amateurs ask friends for advice.

At scale, a large company in B2B selling has a multi-year approach to finding and working with professionals. Many talented soloists often can’t afford to work as patiently and so they often are exposed to amateurs.

It’s okay to sell to amateurs, but one should do it with open eyes.

When you don’t get the gig, it’s not because of something you did wrong at any particular meeting with an amateur… the mistake might simply be that you’re having these meetings with amateurs at all. Or that you’re going to amateur meetings expecting to be meeting with a professional.

There’s a way to optimize the sales pitch and even better, the service itself for when you are hoping to acquire an amateur on the way up, a chance to turn him into a pro. But perhaps your frustration is that you thought he was a pro in the first place…

Different stories for different people.