If you were to take those traits and flip them around to more positive traits and labels you have a very different picture. Let's take one of those traits and turn it around!
Pushy vs. Persistent
The word pushy brings images of a sales rep that won't stop talking. They don't listen and they throw up on you about all the great things they are going to do for you, right? We have all experienced those reps. How many of you have seen Glengarry Glen Ross? It is arguably THE iconic movie about sales.
ABC = Always Be Closing. Watch the full speech here. Please excuse the language. If you are easily offended by foul language - don't watch!
How many of you actually like being hard sold? I know I don't and I am in sales.
Let's compare that with persistent. A persistent sales person finds a reason to keep in touch and provides value in those touches. Here are some goals of a persistent sales rep.
- Build rapport
- Build a relationship
- Make it personal
- Don't just go to the hard sale with questions like, "What do you need right now?".
- Gently lead - don't push
- Listen 80% of the time and talk 20% of the time
- Don't throw up on them with all your products and services and perceived value
- If you say you are going to follow up or do something - DO IT!
- Keep notes in CRM so that you can refer back to those notes in your next conversation*
- Those notes should include personal information you glean during conversations.
Utilizing some of these tips keeps you front and center in the person's mind so that when a need arises they will reach out to you!
For a long time I thought every organization needed the "hunter" mentality. Take no prisoners, tag 'em and bag 'em mentality. You all know those reps. They never stop selling. They never stop looking for prospects.
The trade show business is very service driven. At Total Displays we believe in more of a "fisher" mentality. Many of our clients have been clients for over 20 years. Cast out, reel them in. Repeat. Do you get a bite on the first cast? Ocassionally. Most likely it will take multiple casts and you better have bait on your line. You will also hear this referred to as Hunter vs. Farmer. The Farmer type of sales rep, plants seeds and grows relationships and businesses. Same concept!
As I have matured in my sales knowledge and abilities my opinion of that has changed. In this day of technology people are craving high-touch, high-service sales model. Watch for another post on this in the future.
REAL LIFE EXAMPLES
There is a company that we have had a very bad experience with in the past. They hired a new sales rep. We will call him "Bob". He was very persistent. He called and called and called. We put him off and put him off and put him off. One day he showed up at our door. He wasn't pushy, he just said that he knew we were very busy and that he was in the neighborhood and wanted to stop and introduce himself. (More on that concept in a later post). We chatted for a long time about a lot of different things.
- He made it personal and began building a relationship. We talked about our daughter and her softball team.
- He provided value by leaving us a "tool"
- He didn't push
- He listened
- He followed up. When he followed up he referenced personal conversations and asked how an out of town softball tournament went.
- He built rapport.
- My guess is he made notes in a CRM system (I will have to remember to ask him). Either that or the guy has an AMAZING memory.
- He's a nice guy
- I liked him
We had a small personal project that we needed turned around very quickly. I said to David, "We need this quickly let's give Bob a shot at this. You know what he did? He did this job for us for free. I am not saying in any way that you have to give something away to get business. Simply care about and for your customer. People read that and understand that.
Our second project? He price matched an inferior product with a better product. When the job was done, he delivered it personally.
Are you getting the picture?
Will I give him another opportunity to provide us product or services? Absolutely.
Recently I received a phone call from a desperate prospect that needed new graphics for a pop up booth that she bought in the UK. It was not a frame or a system that we were familiar with and not having it here could mean our graphics would not fit. I went out of my way to find her a supplier and contact in the UK that could help her out. Did I get anything out of it? No. But I know when she is ready to purchase here in the US again that she will give me a chance at the business. I provided value. I also followed up to be sure she got her job done.
*See my post on Can CRM Help You Retain Customers
Stay tuned for the next installment - Customer Service Matters