Days of Future Past isn’t the only summer blockbuster that plays with time travel. Edge of Tomorrow is experiencing its own huge box office numbers. What’s really funny is that both films also tackle the common problem of convincing someone in the past of a future event.
You might think it’s only natural because the future hasn’t ‘happened’ yet. Time travel logic aside though, it’s actually similar to another problem of IT lead generators. How many times have you tried convincing a decision maker to see something that you see?
In the film, a demoted to William Cage tries again and again to convince his squadmates, XO and the General, only to fail because of his earlier attempts to avoid the front lines. From a B2B perspective every, single one of those characters can represent a prospect and their organization.
Having zero to bad reputation won’t place you in any position to convince anybody, not even the secretary. It’s hard trying not to look like you’re worming your way into something (like their finances). But just like Cage, there are several ways to improve your impression:
- Present points in the right order – There is a certain order in proving yourself to prospects. First, know who to contact. Second, how to contact them. Third, presenting the right amount of information to prove your point. There’s nothing inherently wrong in arguing on behalf of your company provided that you’re very respectful towards the prospect and whatever decision they make.
- Prepare to apologize – You can say that Cage started his timeloop in the worst possible way: with a bad rep already behind him. But regardless of how you’re more or less in the same boat, it’s best to prepare an apology. And like any apology, you should always put the objections of the customer first than your own.
- Don’t sound desperate – Obviously, sounding desperate only makes you look more like a snake oil salesman than you already are. It also makes you look like you don’t have a lot of clear thoughts. Rapport can only be established when it looks like you know what you are saying and don’t hold doubts in what you do.
- Get straight to the point – Critics wonder why Cage simply couldn’t tell the General that they have a lead on where the Omega mind really was. More to the point, sometimes less is more. You at least don’t have to worry about time travel complications.
As the marketers and lead generators of the technology world, you really have glimpses beyond that which is seen by those who take their current tools for granted. That however is exactly why your vision is often misunderstood. You need to tackle with this established reputation and realize that trust doesn’t just establish itself by merit of knowing what they don’t.