Saturday March 8, 2014
I don't want to get all intellectual with this blog, but I am going to quote Robert Frost and his poem "The Road Not Taken."
"Two roads diverged in a wood, and I--
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference"
In each of our lives and in each of our careers, we will have to make countless decisions. Some will be easy and some will be so important that our very futures hang in the balance. One decision that those of us in sales will need to make numerous times is the decision between being ethical or being somewhat less than ethical.
This is a decision between being honest or to be any degree less that is less than 100% honest. To do what is right or to do what is often times much easier. And how we make these decisions will have an incredible effect on our careers.
There is little doubt that many hold a less than favorable opinion of sales professionals. Many feel, some rightfully so, that sales people are only out for themselves and will lie, cheat and steal in order to get a sale. Honestly, there are some in sales who do choose the path of non-ethical behavior. They may win more sales than someone choosing a different path and they may earn more money, more respect, awards, promotions, etc, etc...
But those who do not consistently adopt an ethical approach in their careers are seldom successful for long and, in my opinion, are haunted by their past.
Choosing to be ethical and deciding to do the right thing for both your customer, your company and for you is not the easy path. You will lose sales but the sales you make will be earned. And that makes all the difference.
Tuesday March 4, 2014
Some people, it seems, can't turn down a great offer. Like me when it comes to guitars or smart phones: if there is a sales promotion on a item that I think I need, chances are pretty good I will take advantage of the offer.
But I've noticed that many sales promotions do nothing but turn me off from making a buying decision. For me, the endless stream of furniture sales, auto "blowout" sales and once in a lifetime vacation packages don't do anything to move me closer to making a purchase.
If I am actively in the market for a specific product or service, I will check around to see if there are any available discounts or promotions but having a sales professional tell me about a promotion running on a product that I am not in the market for, honestly makes me even less interested in the product.
Nearly every sales company runs promotions and, if not careful, many sales professionals can actually see their revenues drop during and after these promotions. It seems that the public may have grown weary and suspicious of "limited time offers" and, as a result, sales professionals lose some credibility with their customers and prospects.
Saturday March 1, 2014
Most every business owner, manager and senior leader know that a key factor of success is to invest in their employees. Whether you choose to invest in sales training,
enhanced employee benefits, exciting award trips
or the technology your employees use for their job; your investment needs to be chosen wisely.
But the challenge that many businesses face is knowing which employees they should invest in.
Taking a "shotgun" approach, meaning that your investment is spread across all employees, makes sure that no one is left out but also can be very wasteful. Imagine how you'd feel knowing that you just paid for sales training for a sales rep who your entire team feels won't be around much longer.
Often times, a company that uses the "shotgun" approach to employee investing is actually paying to train an employees next employee.
A better approach is to know which employees are worth investing in, so that you can either spend more on them or less overall. But knowing on whom to spend your capital and on what is the key.
Saturday February 22, 2014
Remember back in kindergarten when you were graded on how well you play well with others? Well guess what, you are still being graded. But now, it is how well you work with your sales team, your management and your support staff (if you are lucky enough to have support staff.)
While your ability to play nice with others on your team may not be a separate line item on your annual review, you are being judged by senior leadership in how well you support your team's efforts and the company as a whole.
So while you may view your career as a one person army, how well you play well with others may have a lot to do with your long term success and advancement potential with your employer.
So go ahead and share your blocks but keep your sales and your accounts to yourself!