Proactive Selling in a Reactive Environment
If you have been in our industry longer than 10 years, you will probably agree that we have seen significant changes in the way we service our clients.
The two most significant changes have been with communications and the "reactive" nature to our sales process today.
We all know how communications have changed with email, services for price quoting, and our supplier's creative website tools to help us market more effectively. We now have more electronic options than ever before to help us communicate with our clients.
My promotional products career started in 1985, and my typical day would go something like this: I would come into my office early each morning and check my answering machine for messages and un-curl the thermal fax pages on my floor and try to make some sense of them. Then I would grab my sample case and briefcase filled with quotes, catalogs and samples... then jump in my car to make sales calls all day long.
When I came in at the end of the day I would "re-load" my sample case and briefcase with the materials I would need for the next day's presentations, and get ready to start the process all over again the next day.
Salespeople today spend more time in the office (reacting); that is, answering requests from clients using the Internet, email, and making phone calls to clients, and less time out of the office doing face-to-face presenting and selling.
This is what I mean by the change to a reactive environment when it used to be very proactive.
I'm not suggesting that this is a bad thing, but it is a change we must acknowledge, and determine the overall impact it has on our business.
I submit that each salesperson should recognize this fact, and decide how to be more proactive to ensure sales growth.