By Mark Hunter “The Sales Hunter”
Are you a sales manager or business owner? If you want to have sales success and keep your sales motivation moving along at a pretty good clip, you need to take these “rules” to heart:
1. Hire the person — don’t fill the job. Far too many people are hired just to fill a position. A better approach is to make sure the person’s skills and attitude are a good fit for the tasks at hand. Sure, it may take longer to find the right person, but in the short run and the long run, it is worth it.
2. Fire quickly — including at the top. Owners and managers are quick to terminate lower-level employees, but are far too generous in overlooking terminations that need to occur at the top.
3. Forget competing on price. Nobody can sustain a low price image forever. Competing on price will only provide a short-term volume bump at the risk of destroying the value of your long-term potential.
4. OPM – Other People’s Minds. Use them. Never allow yourself to think you’re the only one who understands your business. Wise sales managers and owners tap into the insights and knowledge of other people so that everyone can benefit.
5. You’re the problem – SCA (Sustainable Competitive Advantage). The only advantage you will be able to create long-term is through your employees. It starts with you being a person with whom others want to associate. The more you genuinely develop your employees, the stronger your company becomes. This assumes, of course, that you have the right people matched with the right jobs, and that you are cognizant of their attitudes. Do they want to learn? Do they want to grow? Do they trust you?
6. 24/7 Marketing. In today’s market it’s impossible to personally be everywhere. You have to have the tools in place to bring you customers from places you never would expect them to come from.
7. Know your customer’s customers. Take the time to understand where and how your product or service is being used. You’ll be amazed at what you learn. And you will uncover information that will better equip you to increase your sales.
8. Never think you’ve lost a customer. If they bought from you once, even if they had a bad experience, you can still get them back and you need to do so. Customers who have bad experiences will talk to others, so it is in your best interest to do all you can to prove yourself once again with customers you have disappointed in the past.
9. Fire your worst customers. Every company has at least a few customers who are more work than they are worth. I know this sounds like a crazy premise, but it is true. Some customers actually hurt your bottom line because they continually make unreasonable requests. The quickest way to “fire” them is to raise their price. Either they will leave or they will stay — at a price that is more suited to what is required of you to service them.
10. Challenge your banker / accountant. You may think they have your best interest in mind, but with the wide range of customers they have, there is no reason to think they’re doing everything they can for you.
11. There is no such thing as a fatal decision. Decisions become fatal only after a number of other bad decisions have been made. Companies rarely get off course because of a single move. They get off course by a serious of bad moves, with each one escalating the impact of the previous one. Don’t let one bad decision defeat you.
If you want to succeed in business and in sales, the above rules are a good place to start. Ingrain them into the fabric of your sales strategy and you won’t regret it.
Mark Hunter, The Sales Hunter, is author of “High-Profit Selling: Win the Sale Without Compromising on Price.” He is a consultative selling expert committed to helping individuals and companies identify better prospects and close more profitable sales. To get a free weekly sales tip, visit www.TheSalesHunter.com. Read the first chapter of his instant-classic “High-Profit Selling” here.
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