The Accidental Sales Person

Growth in Focus is a Sales consulting company, but our Managing Director Sue Findlay does not consider herself a sales person. In fact, Sue shies away from sales activities, preferring to leverage her technical expertise in procurement, buyer psychology and winning tenders.

Company Director Mike Adams is also a technical person, but has long experience in sales and managing sales teams across several industries, and so helps Sue with sales activities for her territory in Western Australia.

Mike attended an industry conference in 2015 in Melbourne and met a Perth-based managing director of an international company that he though would be a good future customer. Mike had a brief conversation with the MD at the conference, and agreed to meet when he was next in Perth.

Unfortunately, each time Mike went to Perth on business, the MD was somewhere else in the world. It seemed likely they would never meet. After about five attempts to schedule a meeting, Mike emailed the MD suggesting that he meet Perth-based Sue instead.

Mike received a one line reply:

"Ok I will meet her, but we're not buying anything"


Hardly a response to motivate an already nervous Sue.

Mike setup a meeting practise session with Sue and encouraged her to tell the story about

why she founded Growth in Focus

- that story is about Sue's frustration with sales people who are unable to supply critical intelligence for the tender submissions she works on - such as the underlying reasons for the tender and the competitive situation.

Sue went for the meeting while Mike waited anxiously in Melbourne to hear how it went.

Sue called after the meeting and excitedly told Mike that she had told her story about her frustration with sales people and the MD had said:

"Welcome to my world, lets go to a whiteboard ..."

We are happy to report that this company is now a Growth in Focus customer where we are supplying a range of sales consulting services.


Company: Growth in Focus

Source: Sue Findlay and Mike Adams experience


Story Type: Insight, Personal


For Story Students:

The Setting: Perth, 2015

The Complications: Sue did not feel competent or able to have a sales meeting with a prospect customer

The Turning Point: Sue was encouraged and trained to use a purposeful story in her first meeting with the prospect

The Resolution: Sue created rapport and interest with her story and it is now an important Growth in Focus customer

The Point of the Story: The right story can win a sale

How to use this Story: We use this story to underline the importance of stories in the sales process