When was the last time you oversold a solution and lost the deal because you either failed to make its benefits obvious to the customer or failed to mention faults that you knew existed all along?
You probably can't remember, and even if you could you probably wouldn't dare admit that you stuffed up. That's fair enough, but I can't help draw certain parallels to the latest almighty bun fight surrounding the GST debate.
Remember Johnny Hewson, the former Liberal leader who lost the "unlosable" election because he stuffed up what was a courageous move to sell a tax overhaul that Australia supposedly just had to have?
Johnny didn't win any points back then because he failed to produce a watertight sales pitch that could present a possible GST to the punters in a favourable light. In other words, he couldn't get his facts straight!
But isn't it funny how history has a way of repeating itself? This time around it's Little Johnny Howard who put his head on the proverbial chopping block by trying to sell a "tax" that will "benefit" all Australians in the long term. First of all, when was the last time a damn tax benefited anyone other than the Government? I, for one cannot remember.
Yet somehow, some way, Little Johnny has managed to convince us all that the GST is something we'll all come to know and love with the same endearment as Plugger Lockett and Vegemite.
And to be honest, unlike Johnny Hewson's failed GST attempt, it all seemed too easy. All too easy because Little Johnny Howard has conveniently overlooked the one criteria that all salespeople (god bless their tainted little hearts) must have in their repertoire - the sales spiel.
Little Johnny knew that selling a GST to a pessimistic and disbelieving public was always going to be a tough ask - one made even harder by Hewson's abject failure. So, why not sell the rhetoric? Lower income taxes, no wholesale sales tax, cheaper goods - all cherries designed to pull at the heartstrings of the "what's in it for me?" population.
Of course, history now shows that, with no small thanks to the Democrats (the bastards we should demand honesty of) the GST will now burst onto the scene like an unwelcome guest. It just goes to show that IT and politics can never mix. Consider the ramifications on your businesses if you tried to hoodwink your customers into buying a deal that was not up to scratch. You'd be out on your ear.
It staggers me to think that only now many Australians are jacking up at the idea of a GST. Well folks, it's too damn late! At least resellers and integrators can take some solace in the knowledge that software conversions will stoke their fires long after Y2K has come and gone.