Earlier today, over lunch featuring wings, cold beer and a prank game of who can eat the most mango habanero sauce, we got into the discussion over the NFL’s current labor dispute and how it impacts our ability to sell stuff.
For those of you outside of United States, the NFL is the national football league. It’s not real football as experienced in the rest of the world… it’s uneducated jocks running at each other as hard as possible and when not causing a near fatal injury they just so happen to stumble onto an operation that generates over $9 billion dollars a year. The owners of these football teams are upset at the amount of money they are spending on player salaries so a few years ago they decided to negotiate TV contracts that would end up paying them if the football games were played or not. The players (NFL Players Association) is a union of extremely talented players that bargained collectively for an agreement that basically said after the certain amount of money had been spent on operational expenses (stadiums, etc) the revenue between the players and the football club owners would be split. Last year the NFL owners said they needed $1 billion dollars in extra cash to run the operations – while not completely disclosing what that cash was going to – and effectively taking it out of players pockets. Negotiations ensued, and failed, with owners locking out the players from the stadiums. Multimillionaires on both sides, who should you feel sorry for?
Those are the facts.
Before you go for the easy answers: NFL owners cannot replace players with non-NFL players (see: College Basketball) because nobody wants to watch non-professionals.
This makes the case for IT Solution Providers.
When you go into a negotiation over pricing and the decision maker who pays his employees $10/hr cannot completely comprehend why you’re worth 10 times that salary will be in a similar position that the NFL owners and the NFL players are currently in: greed. The owners (decision makers) want to keep as much of their money as possible but they face the ugly fact of trying to make due with the cheap crap.
Your job in any sales position is to make sure the decision owners considers the cost of halfassing (yes, it’s a word: h?f??st?, häf?äst: adjective, vulgar slang: 1. not well planned 2. incompetent) their IT solutions and achieving the same level of operational inefficiency they hate today.
In simpler terms: Every business owner believes he is overpaying his people because he sees the mistakes they make on the daily basis. Hiring a professional would (effectively) be cheaper than adding a +1 to the employee roster.
Nobody likes scabs. Be a pro.