Five Harsh Sales Realities
30 years ago this coming Memorial Day I graduated from the University of Massachusetts/Amherst. Two weeks later I started my career in sales. 30 years. Wow. Since then, much has changed but much remains the same in this field. Below I offer some thoughts and opinions. They're not pretty. Just true.
- A prospect will not return your voice mail...ever—Therefore, the goal and expectation of voice mail should not be to get a return call. The goal of voice mail is to demonstrate your professionalism. Consider it an audition and be the person you want to do business with.
- Your price will be too high...always—Be ready for the customer to tell you that your price is too high. At this point you only have two options: Lower it or justify it. Like McDonald's menu choices, this objection never changes. Go into a pricing situation assuming that your price will be high, have your response ready (always justify it before you lower it), and it will is more likely to end well for you.
- Customer loyalty is dead as we knew it...gone—Spoiler alert: You are as good as the last job you shipped in. Once upon a time a customer was yours to lose. Now, given the economy, the Internet, and a new array of competitive choices, customer relationships are much more temporary. Don't ever make the assumption that you are bulletproof in the account. Instead, make the assumption that your presence is tenuous and temporary. It makes for some sleepless nights but it will keep you on your toes and have you constantly earning the client's business.
- Developing a relationship now has less to do with business lunches and more to do with Twitter and LinkedIn—Back in the old days we'd golf and dine and get to know customers outside of the workplace. Given the challenges of time and the new rules of corporate responsibility, the face of developing a relationship is now faceless... and if you agree with that last statement please "Like" me on Facebook 🙂
- The sales rep must now understand marketing—Customers have new expectations. No longer is it enough for us to only understand our world. Today, it is imperative that we know the client's products and challenges and direction so that we can match the appropriate solution to the customer need.
Bill Farquharson is the president of Aspire For and can be reached at 781-934-7036 or Bill@aspirefor.com. Free sales tips and Short Attention Span Webinars can be found at www.aspirefor.com.
Bill Farquharson is a sales trainer for the graphic arts. Email him at Bill@AspireFor.com or call (781) 934-7036. Bill’s two books, The 25 Best Print Sales Tips Ever and Who’s Making Money at Digital/Inkjet Printing…and How? as well as information on his new subscription-based website, The Sales Vault are available at BillFarquharson.com.