I still hear of customers who are complaining about their sales being soft and how their business is down compared to several years ago. When I probe them as to how they were able to achieve their sales success in the past, it winds up being that they were able to merely answer the phone. They had customers beating a path to their door.
You know what this tells me? They don’t have a problem with sales; they have a problem because they don’t have a sales plan. If you have not taken the time to reassess every step of your sales and marketing process in the last 18 months, then you need to do it ASAP. Your sales success and your sales motivation depend upon it!
Things have changed. Opportunities that were here 18 months ago are not here today, and the opportunities of today are going to be capitalized on with a far different sales and marketing plan. Don’t be afraid to let “salespeople” go, because what you’re probably doing is merely letting “order takers” go. I’m sorry, but today’s marketplace requires people who can sell. These are the people I’m going to invest my time and effort in.
With over 40 years in sales, sales training, and sales management consulting, I’ve been through good times and through lean times and, like Mark, saw that those people who got into sales during the good times just had to stand there with their hands out and let people put into it. During the lean times they still stood there with their hands out but no one was putting money into it. Now that same hand holds a cup with pencils in it with the hopes that someone will buy one.
Good salespeople adapt. Bad salespeople sell pencils.
You hit the nail on the head with this one. An old mentor told me something once I will never forget “In business there are two types of people essentially – those that process demand and those that create demand. The key to being indispensable in any business is being a person that creates demand. Don’t be a processor Dan “they are a dime a dozen – be a rainmaker, create demand”.
Mark you are so right, as I’m sure you know. People believe that their sales per month equals the value they bring to the market place. Only problem is that they are just processing sales, not actually creating those sales.
Brian, you described most people in business- the look for handouts.
And Dan, great advice! Thank you for your contribution. ^_^