We all have friends, right? Even a salesman has a friend or two so I am guessing you do too. Today’s feature highlights little tips that would make the lowly life of a premise salesman a bit more pleasant and productive. Your charge is to spread the word with the hope that it eventually reaches the ears of someone responsible for buying advertising for a business. So let’s get started.
Tip #1: Don’t be a Moron.
This might appear simple and silly, but it is the best place to start. Seriously. It isn’t enough to think you’re fabulous and bright, you have to make some effort to appear fabulous and bright. Your blank stare and gaping mouth doesn’t tell us much about the imagined refinement you have playing in your little brain. If nothing else, please pretend….pretend that you have some professional polish and perhaps a twinkle of intelligence.
Arranging a meeting and forgetting about it, for example, does not justify kicking tools in your empty garage while you scream about how unbelievably busy you are. Just grow up.
Tip #2: Remember the Golden Rule.
Sure, you’re busy. But so is a salesman. You have a business to run. So does a salesman. You appreciate being treated with respect. So does a salesman. You get the point.
Tip #3: Remember, it is business.
The key thing here is to be direct and honest, but don’t take things personally. Too often egos and insecurity get in the way of making smart decisions; it gets in the way of just being open to a business transaction. That’s a mistake and it can be a costly one. Just give us our time and talk with us.
If we stay focussed on business relevant to our meeting, being direct shouldn’t be hard to do. Making us dance around irrelevant issues or issues that really don’t exist is as frustrating as threading a needle in the dark. Sales people spend a lot of time asking questions and fact-finding because you make it a game. How are we supposed to give you the right proposal if you don’t give us the right information? This is common sense, but too many decision makers flip on the moron switch and that makes things miserable for everyone. Keep this in mind…as the decision maker, you ultimately control the call. Make it a good call.
Tip #4: Don’t waste our time.
Really a corollary to Tip #3, remember this is a business and making social calls isn’t really helping any of us build our business. The biggest sin you can commit, even worse than missing an appointment, is calling us out for a meeting to deliver and then tell us you changed your mind. Maybe people will disagree with me on this one, but over the summer it wasn’t uncommon to spend an hour preparing contracts and then spend another hour driving 50 miles to be told that they had changed their minds about advertising. I don’t need to waste half a day to know that!
Tip #5: You’re an expert at what you do, but not an expert at everything…
Give your sales professional some credit. He or she has a lot of experience working with with businesses. You pull teeth, you probably don’t research AdWord trends. Listen to a professional in another field. You might learn something. You might even help your business.
Tip #6: Learn about ROI
One more tip and then I’m done. But this is a big one. Learn how investments work. Know what investing in assets can do.
Understand diversification. But learn how to calculate return on investment and understand how a positive return is good for your business.
I have sat across a table of sharply dressed professionals who have said they agreed that they were making money working with me, but they had not choice but to cut their contract with me because they had to cut expenses. This happens, without exaggeration, several times a week.
Now…of course, perhaps I should be doing my job better. Who knows? There is no excuse for this kind of cognitive disconnect, but sometimes you just can’t get beyond this ingrained misunderstanding of what profits mean to a business. You would think it were obvious, but … apparently … it is not.
Bonus Tip: For a Business, Profits are Good. (See Tip #6 above.)
- Selling the intangibles beyond the demand is the real challenge (leadsexplorer.com)
- Psychology of Salesman, Consumer and The Skeptic (socyberty.com)