I love sales! On many drives, while looking out windshield, I have asked myself why I love sales and among the many reasons, I would say I love the “win” part of the sale. I love what happens after the sale – the delivery of what was promised. Most importantly, I love the satisfaction of the customers and the revenue.
Anyone who runs a company knows that nothing happens until somebody sells something. I have worked with, watched, and been fortunate enough to appreciate good sales people and how they have mastered their craft. Good salespeople – the ones who maintain successful careers over the years – put their customers’ needs ahead of their own, creating satisfaction for both sides.
Many people refuse to acknowledge the role that selling plays in their lives, both the business and professional sides. Put a bunch of employed people in a room and ask how many of them perform a sales function each day, and only a handful will raise their hands. The rest will shake their heads at the idea. They believe they’re administrators, accountants, trainers, managers. They do not believe they are sales people – well, they’re wrong. From its foundation, everyone in your company is in sales.
My recipe is pretty straight forward with every client or customer and I try to keep it as simple as possible – create a relationship with the customers, assess their interests and values, and offer something that meets both their budget and expectations.
Another question I ask myself is what are the reasons we won’t get the sale? I know why customers and clients should do business with us – quality, service, reputation, our almost three decades of being in the industry, our outstanding team, attention to detail, flexibility. But why may a potential client chose another provider? Successful companies ask themselves that question. More importantly, they ask the potential client – before it is too late in the process.
For us at KRTS, TransRep and The Rear View Mirror, I want my entire team to do one thing really well. I want everyone to reach the personal side of the customer, not just the business side.
Great salespeople act as chameleons, adapting to their surroundings as needed, usually without even thinking about it. Years ago, at the Ontario Trucking Association convention, a respected industry colleague commented that I was a real chameleon. I was offended, because I didn’t know the true meaning. I learned later that it was a great compliment.
Here is my take on the four corners of the foundation of an outstanding salesperson:
Great salespeople believe in what they do; selling is demanding, difficult and truly an art. It demands total commitment.
Great salespeople enjoy and engage people; they make buyers and clients feel good about their decisions.
Great salespeople listen more than they talk; listen very closely, learn the needs of the customer.
Great salespeople eliminate reasons not to make the sale; without a doubt being able to respond to potential client’s objections effectively is critical as the single most important talent of a good salesperson.
Remember, everyone in your organization is in sales. Coach your people to understand this. If sales is your main function every day, work at it like the best athletes work at what they do. Everything in life has a price. This separates winners form losers in business, sports and life itself. If you are not willing to pay the price, you cannot expect to succeed.
About the Author
Kim Richardson is the Chairman of the Allied Trade Division for the Ontario Trucking Association. He is a loving husband, proud father and grandfather, and friend or acquaintance to many in and out of the trucking industry. He loves and lives in Caledonia and is involved in a few businesses; KRTS, The Rear View Mirror and TransRep. For more information, contact Kim at firstname.lastname@example.org or 1-800-771-8171 x 201.