Heard an old episode of “This American Life” that is a good analogy of business to business sales and attitude. (Episode #369, Act One. You Gotta Ask Yourself One Question: Do You Feel Clucky? Well…Do ya, Punk?) Listen to the episode. Ira Glass tells a great story.
The gist of the episode is that a man in Pakistan wants to break a friend out of prison. He buys a magic amulet that will protect anyone from harm but wants to test it first to make sure it works. He puts the amulet on a chicken and then shoots at the chicken with some old pistol. The chicken isn’t harmed after a number of shots so he says the amulet works, but one more person, someone that can actually shoot a pistol, takes a last shot and kills the chicken.
How many times do we work with an account and decide some strategy, product, or service just isn’t appropriate? It will never work. The amulet is magic. Maybe it’s just who’s shooting the pistol.