OFFICIAL: Sales Professionals Strategy and Discussion Thread - Page 2 - TigerDroppings.com

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CajunAlum Tiger Fan
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re: OFFICIAL: Sales Professionals Strategy and Discussion Thread


quote:

I do believe relationships win out when in doubt. People buy from people. If you work well and trust each other, then business runs much smoother and you get repeat business.


There is a point here that I think some in sales miss. Building a personal relationship with customers as described by a few in the thread is great, but I've found that it's more important to build a business relationship and professional trust. I've seen plenty of "superstar" reps with one vendor make bold claims about how many customers they would bring with them when they move to another vendor, but then fail because those personal relationships do not translate to business.

(By the way, this is an interesting thread and I hope more of the sales guys out there chime in. I never actually wanted to be in sales and backed into my first sales position, but it's worked out well and I enjoy talking to others about the job.)






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GoldenSombrero
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re: OFFICIAL: Sales Professionals Strategy and Discussion Thread


quote:

There is a point here that I think some in sales miss. Building a personal relationship with customers as described by a few in the thread is great, but I've found that it's more important to build a business relationship and professional trust. I've seen plenty of "superstar" reps with one vendor make bold claims about how many customers they would bring with them when they move to another vendor, but then fail because those personal relationships do not translate to business.


I agree with this, especially if we are talking about value based selling. Something I read recently....end users buy from people, not organizations; executives buy from organizations, not people. In my line of work I'm finding this to be true more each day.







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Reubaltaich
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re: OFFICIAL: Sales Professionals Strategy and Discussion Thread


Several things to add:

Trust is the foremost issue. Be honest with your customer. If you screw up, own up to it and make it right, even if you have to take a loss doing so. A simple apology will go miles in your relationships with your clients when you make mistakes.

Be honest and DON'T LIE. You will eventually be found out and you will have lost a customer for life. AND they will tell other potential customers.
Plus, if you don't know something, tell you will get them an answer, and then follow through.

Remember, you are building LONG TERM relationships with your customers. There is nothing sweeter than to get repeat calls for your product/services. Its easy money.

Listen intently. The lack of this skill has cost many of businesses customers and has lost businesses untold amounts of money. Clarify if you have to. Also take notes.

The so-called 'soft-skills' that many have mentioned. Be nice, understanding and try to work with the quirks of your customer.

Product and/or service knowledge.
Know your product or service so well that you can give a truthful, factual answers in a moments notice.
That is when customers will begin to ask for you by name. Thats when the big bucks start rolling in.

Study trends, learn something EVERY DAY about your business, its products and/or services.

Like it or not, the Internet & other forms of mass media has changed the way business is being done. Customers can instantly find a comparable product or service very easily, sometimes at a lower price. Service is going to be your trump card.

The customer is kings and queens. They are the ones that really matter. You must focus on them and there needs and wants.

And finally, realize that there are going to be times that you are going to make mistakes. Instead of beating yourself up, learn from your mistakes and vow to do better.









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CajunAlum Tiger Fan
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re: OFFICIAL: Sales Professionals Strategy and Discussion Thread


Solid post, what market are you in currently?





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Interception
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re: OFFICIAL: Sales Professionals Strategy and Discussion Thread


quote:

Like it or not, the Internet & other forms of mass media has changed the way business is being done. Customers can instantly find a comparable product or service very easily, sometimes at a lower price. Service is going to be your trump card.


First, Up Vote!

Second, this is the most important thing to remember in competitive sales is to give superior service. I live on both sides of the avenue and will not deal with people with bad service. I don't mind spending extra on products if you're giving me excellent service and are AVAILABLE whenever I need you. Sometimes I need that extra service and need my salesman to be there for my needs. If I call in a jam and you don't help me then there better be a damn good reason why.

I make sure my clients understand my I will answer questions or service them anytime, weekdays or weekends. If I happen to be out of town my business has somebody on standby ready to service our customers. Going the extra mile and doing things like providing tickets to an LSU game are things I do to show I appreciate their business. I take them hunting or find their interest so I can exploit it.



This post was edited on 8/26 at 1:58 pm


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Reubaltaich
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re: OFFICIAL: Sales Professionals Strategy and Discussion Thread


quote:


Solid post, what market are you in currently?


Thanks man.

Well, I want to kinda remain anonymous(too many fruit cakes, especially from the PT & OT boards ) but I am in the auto industry, more on the service end.






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lynxcat
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re: OFFICIAL: Sales Professionals Strategy and Discussion Thread


Of all threads to get a sticky...this is the one?!







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Slickback
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re: OFFICIAL: Sales Professionals Strategy and Discussion Thread


Being an expert on my product was always my #1 rule. "I don't know" would never come out of my mouth while speaking with a customer.

Understanding my customers was the second most important concept for me. Everyone is different and reacts differently to sales tactics. Be cognizant of the type of buyer you are dealing with and be flexible.






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lynxcat
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re: OFFICIAL: Sales Professionals Strategy and Discussion Thread


Here is my two cents:

I would be a terrible salesperson if I went in with the attitude of "time to make a sales pitch".

For me, it is about having a conversation about whatever topic at hand, talking about the pros and cons, the benefits and the options available, how services suit different types of business needs, strengths and weaknesses of the my firm's capabilities...etc. It is a conversation and during that process, credibility is gained and trust is developed.

^^ This is an uber natural process to me. I can talk with anyone, but I don't ever want to feel like I am trying to 'make a sale' just for the sakes of 'making a sale'...I want to believe that the service being sold will truly enable that company to excel.






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tigerfoot
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re: OFFICIAL: Sales Professionals Strategy and Discussion Thread


I have and have one set of advice.

Call people back, fast, two hours used to be the standard, now it is less, be positive, smile, take time to open doors and greet everyone when you enter their property, know the maint man as well as the CEO, spend your time with the folks on bottom too. Owners and CEOs can go on their own damn hunting and fishing trips, if you are doing it right they invite you. Decision makers really like to see you take care and respect their folks. Relationships...see above, do what you say, faster, better, more accurately than anyone else....never mess up, if you do, own up to it. Solid relationships are not formed by bull shite or being a smooth talker, that means jack shite.

Oh and Don't take vacation, I have 80% market penetration and still pick up business hand over fist in July and August.

Ask tons of questions, show interest in the minutia of your customers business, learn their business, learn their challenges...but don't assume that everyone has the same triggers. Ask them, they will tell you.



This post was edited on 8/30 at 7:41 am


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lynxcat
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re: OFFICIAL: Sales Professionals Strategy and Discussion Thread


quote:

Oh and Don't take vacation, I have 80% market penetration and still pick up business hand over fist in July and August.



Stupid.






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CajunAlum Tiger Fan
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re: OFFICIAL: Sales Professionals Strategy and Discussion Thread


quote:

Stupid


Agreed, not taking vacation is just ridiculous. I'm in the work to live camp.






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lsulefty5
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re: OFFICIAL: Sales Professionals Strategy and Discussion Thread


Agreed. Decision makers take vacation too. I'll still respond to inquiries and what not at my leisure while on vacation, but damn dude, enjoy life a bit!





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cuyahoga tiger
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re: OFFICIAL: Sales Professionals Strategy and Discussion Thread


I sell a product that manufacturers use to make a product that they sell in both the wholesale and retail markets. Having knowledge of those markets and the producers in them is very important. Sharing that knowledge is what makes me indispensable. They can get my product from a number of vendors, but can they get the info I share...not usually.

I follow up every visit with a letter, thanking them for their time and business. In addition, i follow up every visit with an e-mail detailing our conversation and next steps we have agreed on.

After many successful years using these simple steps, I usually average 12-15 customer visits a week and only 2-3 prospect visits a week. Keeping current profitable business is much more important than generating new, usually not as profitable business.






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Reubaltaich
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re: OFFICIAL: Sales Professionals Strategy and Discussion Thread


Does anyone use 'social media' like Facebook or something else to promote their products/services?

If so, how have you gone about doing it?


TIA



This post was edited on 9/5 at 5:57 pm


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CajunAlum Tiger Fan
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re: OFFICIAL: Sales Professionals Strategy and Discussion Thread


quote:

Does anyone use 'social media' like Facebook or something else to promote their products/services?

If so, how have you gone about doing it?


TIA



I hired an inside sales guy and he uses Linkedin heavily. It works better for him than any other method. He searches the businesses we are targeting and finds the decision makers in the departments we sell into by title or credentials. He sends a basic introduction and has a solid response rate ~5X higher than email.






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LSURussian
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re: OFFICIAL: Sales Professionals Strategy and Discussion Thread


As a self employed business owner I have always considered myself as my #1 salesman.

The book Getting to Yes has been my sales methods bible. It's an old book written in the 1980's but I discovered it in the late 1990's and have found the sales principles discussed in it are timeless.

Also I enrolled in a personality analysis seminar where the DISC method of recognizing the personality traits of a prospective customer and how best to sell to each personality (or how to manage employees within their basic personality) was a paradigm shift for me in my personal development. Once you know the personality of a prospect, you use that knowledge to allow the prospect to sell himself.







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Paul Allen
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re: OFFICIAL: Sales Professionals Strategy and Discussion Thread


There's a wonderful management/sales book out there titled - 'first break all the rules'.







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4LSU2
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re: OFFICIAL: Sales Professionals Strategy and Discussion Thread


quote:

Also I enrolled in a personality analysis seminar where the DISC method of recognizing the personality traits of a prospective customer and how best to sell to each personality (or how to manage employees within their basic personality) was a paradigm shift for me in my personal development. Once you know the personality of a prospect, you use that knowledge to allow the prospect to sell himself.


My company just instituted the DISC method last week. I am high "I" with a secondary high "D", fwiw. We brought in a consultant for 3 days and she is coming back next month to implement the new plan. I am interested to see how things manifest from there.






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Tiger Ryno
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re: OFFICIAL: Sales Professionals Strategy and Discussion Thread


my 2 cents...paint a picture of the future without your solution. is the risk too much to stand pat? if it is not, then you won't sell them. if it is you have a chance.

or...paint a picture of the future with your solution/help, is there enough potential gain being left on the table now? if so, you can sell them.






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