This blog entry is going to be a bit of a departure from the norm. Tech people spend their time and effort creating a product or service. Sales people spend their time and effort defining the value of the product or service. I am in sales. Therefore, it is in that vein that I am posting this.
As much as we would love to have a prospective client look at us five minutes into our meeting as say, “You had me at hello.” (or maybe more appropriately, “You had me at requirements”) the more realistic expectation would be for them to ask, “Why should we hire Seilevel?”
That’s exactly what happened the other day. A very sharp, experienced gentleman turned to us early in our meeting and said, “What you do…eliciting and documenting the right requirements for software development, is something we do very well. And even if we didn’t we can outsource the development overseas for a fraction of the cost and they can send us a BA here to handle the requirements. Or we could hire one of the Top 25 Tech Consulting Companies and have them handle our requirements AND development. Why should we hire Seilevel?”
As confident as my co-worker and I are in Seilevel…as many times as we’ve seen our company wow our clients…we had no great answer. “We’re better!” or “Hire us and you’ll see!” wasn’t going to cut it with this guy.
Fortunately for us, he gave us enough time, and we were able to relate enough information such as client success stories, etc., that by the end of the meeting he actually had a list of reasons why his company would consider hiring Seilevel.
1. We’re local. Bringing in others from out of town adds to the cost…and eats up time.
2. We are process agnostic. We’re not going to force you to follow our process. The models we use are applicable to any process. In fact, he said because we’re process agnostic we would have a fresh perspective and we may see things that aren’t obvious to them because they’ve always done things the same old way. We wouldn’t come in with preconceived notions.
3. We have no “dog in the hunt”. We’re not here to push a product since we aren’t selling a requirements tool.
4. We specialize. Sure some may feel it would be more convenient if we were a “do it all” consulting company. But the fact is that if we were, we wouldn’t be as good at requirements. The bottom line is that software requirements are all we do.
Now while we are thrilled he saw value in out company, we are disappointed that we didn’t have a better, more compact answer for him when he asked. So that’s the point of this blog entry: It’s actually a challenge. To Seilevel’s employees, to Seilevel’s clientele and to anyone else that can answer the question, “Why should we hire Seilevel?’
After all…”You had me at hello” doesn’t really happen in business, unless it’s the movie business.