I got into sales when my company started, decided it wasn’t my strength and got out until a few years ago. I read a book called “Truth and Lies in Advertising” and it mentioned the creative director (what I do at my company) needs to be the strongest sales person in the company.
So I made an attempt and had some success. I focus on the business, providing the right solution and that seems to work for the most part. If there’s small talk it tends to be business and industry related, although I do have a growing number of clients that share my interest in music, oddly enough.
So when is a sale a sale? When and how often do you follow up when there are extended periods without communication? When is the horse dead and it’s time to get off? As far as I can tell, these are all gray areas that no one really has the answer to. Trust your instincts and the old sayings “Strike while the fire is hot” and “Patience is a virtue” come to mind as good advice in this regard.
Here are the top 10 sales truths that I rely on:
Lee’s Quote for the Day
If you’re having a hard time selling something, it’s either priced wrong, not a very good product or you’re trying to sell it to the wrong person. Oh yeah, it could be the wrong season, or just a bad day, or lousy timing, or budget cuts, or the price of fuel, or the high Canadian dollar or…
This year has had its share of change. 2011 started off with a significant shuffle in leadership, across many major carriers and was followed by some significant acquisitions by small and large carriers alike.
Our long time accounts Hi-Way 9 Express, Concord and more recently Quik X, all changed ownership. Fortunately our relationship with those carriers didn’t end and we actually made further inroads with sister divisions. Some senior people who left those companies turned to us when they joined new firms or created their own companies. The wheels keep turning…
So what’s the point? Although the industry is shy when it comes to engaging in social media trends, most professionals in the industry use LinkedIn. It’s a great resource to help keep you up to date with the changes that will likely continue to be a common occurrence in the industry. We are about to experiment with some advertising opportunities using this social network. It’s amazing how targeted a campaign you can launch in this and other social media venues.
We are currently managing the social media for a few clients. It’s an opportunity that didn’t exist a few years ago and will probably be one of the things that help us through this now tighter economic climate. On the transportation side, offering a brokerage service to capitalize on the convenience sell with existing customers is probably the most common opportunity that carriers are looking to for increasing their revenues quickly and profitably.
We can count on further consolidation but we should all keep our antennas up for new opportunities. They do exist. We just have to look to the future and ask the question “I’d like to see this happen. What did I have to do to get there?” Then keep going backwards until you come up with your first step and you will have all the steps in between. It’s a simple process that adds clarity when you can’t seem to get there from here.
Lee’s Quote for the Day
Everyone has heard how important location is in creating a successful enterprise, especially in the restaurant business. We now have a chance to see if a well established product, great reputation and professional execution can offset a location with a long history of failure.
For folks like me (that have worked in proximity to the Toronto airport for most of my career), a once popular location has been revitalized. Pepi’s was a fast food joint on Derry Road just east of Torbram. It was right on the flight path and in its day was a very popular spot. Then the large McDonnell Douglas plant closed down, the major banks moved out of the area and the once well know eatery died a slow and painful death. It was vacant for many years and several entrepreneurs tried to bring it back without success.
A few months ago Zet’s, a 24 hour greasy spoon on the strip, took it over and breathed new life into the old location. A major facelift began including a freshly paved yard, new signage, new paint, a fresh interior…every detail was covered. They manned it with staff from the other restaurant and had 3 times as many people serving you, compared to previous renditions.
We went the other day for lunch. It was busy and although it had a limited menu and hours, compared to the airport road location, it was very professionally run, the food was well prepared and the menu fairly priced. The service was quick and friendly and everyone sported matching shirts with their updated brand prominently featured.
I think they did it right and will be a success. It’s well marketed and manned and I believe their attention to detail will make the difference in keeping their doors open and their business prospering. Time will tell.
Lee’s Quote for the Day