Dr. Rick Johnson Articles
Sales Management --Unmask the Confusion of Territory Account Assignment
When I carried a bag, sales territories were defined geographically. Of course, that was in the old days. My daughter calls it the days of Black & White Television. In reality, color television came out when I was still only seven years old. But in the days when I was a field sales rep, the 70’s & 80’s, a sales person got a chunk of geography and you were told this is your patch of dirt. You go out and you farm the territory and you build the business. However, for the most part, if you are going to grow your territory it has to grow by taking market share from the competition. Territories today need to go from being geographically defined to being key account assignment defined. So, in other words, when you use the term, ‘territory’ today, you’re not referring to a patch of dirt.
Sales Growth --- The Key Objective
Isn’t sales growth the primary of objective of every sales person out there. It makes the company happy and puts more money in the pocket of the sales person. When the fish were jumping in the boat, sales growth was easy. Today, due to economic uncertainty, the fish are as cooperative. So…….. How do you grow sales today?
The Realities of Service Excellence during Recovery
The primary focus of your company’s operations especially during a recovery period should be on having uniformly “Excellent Customer Service”. We define Service Excellence simply as “doing what you say you will do”. This involves setting customer expectations and then delivering on them. If Reality Exceeds Expectations then the Customer Will be Happy
Do you have Non-Performance Issues on your Sales Team?
All companies are in constant need of aggressive, creative and resourceful salespeople to have their products specified, accepted and used by customers. Without informed and capable field salespeople, no distributorship could hope to compete in the marketplace today. How often have any of us stopped to consider the fact that good salespeople, the kind who can help a company really grow, don’t just happen to come along by chance or fate. There is no such thing as a “born salesperson,” because selling ability is much more than an intangible given that a person either has or doesn’t have.
Sales Management ---- Do the Inmates Run the Asylum
Handling sales people that can put up the numbers but break every rule in the book, ones that can’t get along with their peers and drive inside sales people crazy can be very challenging for a sales manager. This will create a situation that ultimately will affect overall company performance regardless of this sales person’s individual success. This is especially true if this sales person holds the sales manager hostage knowing his numbers help keep corporate off the sales managers back.
The Power is in the Question
Does sales management seem to be lost in the wilderness at your company? Was your sales manager your top rated sales person that you promoted based on sales performance? Did your sales manager ever receive any formal sales management training? Do you think your sales force needs to be more aggressive? Are you following best practice principles?
Conquering the Counter Conundrum
Counter sales personnel face many of the same issues that inside sales and customer service (IS/CS) people face. In fact, the counter sales life becomes one of juggling several balls in the air at the same time and becoming skilled at multi-tasking. Dealing with "will- calls," customers at the counter, inbound phone calls, picking and packing at times and demanding sales representatives create quite a challenge for the professional counter person. More importantly, this counter conundrum puts customer retention and value at risk.
Don’t Let your Smile Run Away from Your Face --- The Piano Man
There is a song called The Piano Man that uses the phrase - "The smile ran away from her face." That phrase reminds me of the look on many Sales Managers faces as they discuss sales training at their respective company. The least effective and the most expensive method of training sales people unfortunately is also the most common! Although a new sales person may have experience, simply providing product training for your line card is just not enough. The marketplace demands that sales people provide more than product knowledge, a product catalog and a price list. If that is the type of training you provide, chances are it is the root cause of management frustration, low productivity and high turnover not to mention lack of profitability. Training sales personnel appropriately can be expensive.
Demonstrating Leadership when Handling a Disgruntled Employee
"Are you kidding me?" ---- "I can't believe you are doing this to me!" -----"This just isn't fair" Have you ever heard those words or similar words from an employee? Have you ever had to handle a situation where an employee is so upset they become very emotional? If you haven't and you are in management, you will. It's just a matter of time.
Reflections of a Lone Sales Wolf
How time flies. I remember back in the mid 1970's when professional selling was easy and a whole lot of fun. We were Lone Wolfs back then. We controlled everything, we were professionals, we owned a patch of dirt. All we had to do to maintain ownership was to produce sales. We had our tools, a company car, trunk files, brochures, samples and a calendar/card file. As time passed, some of us even got car phones. Sure, we did call reports and had sales meetings, but make no mistake, we were pros. We owned that patch of dirt and most of the customers who were on it. If we chose to leave for greener pastures, most of our customers went with us. We had respect. Everything focused on relationships. I mentioned how I even remember my first sales training seminar, "Needs Satisfaction Selling." I was a rookie and having the time of my life.
About the Author: Dr. Rick Johnson
RSS for Dr. Rick's articles - Visit Dr. Rick's website
www.ceostrategist.com - Sign up to receive "The Howl" a free monthly newsletter that addresses real world industry issues. - Straight talk about today's issues. Rick Johnson, expert speaker, wholesale distribution's "Leadership Strategist", founder of CEO Strategist, LLC a firm that helps clients create and maintain competitive advantage. Need a speaker for your next event, E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dr. Rick Johnson has over 35 years of experience in distribution sales and operations. Rickï¿½s career can be broken down by decades. The first ten years of his distribution career were spent with the largest steel-processing distributor in the world (Joseph T. Ryerson). The second ten years began with Rick starting his own processing distribution center from scratch. In the first year, sales reached $1 million dollars and had grown to $25 million in its tenth year when Rick sold the business to one of the major national chains. The third ten years of Rickï¿½s career dealing with financially troubled Turn-A-Round companies. After completing ten years of TAR work, Rick decided a decade of acting like Darth Vader was enough and became a consultant to the Wholesale Distribution Industry in 1999. Rick received an MBA from Keller Graduate School in Chicago and a Bachelor's degree from Capital University, Columbus Ohio. He also served six years in the United States Air Force as a survival instructor. Rick completed his dissertation on Strategic Leadership and received his Ph.D. in 2005. Rick is frequently published in numerous magazines including a column in Supply House Times, with over 250 different articles published to date. Heï¿½s also a published author with eight books to his credit.
Click here to visit Dr. Rick's website.
More from Dr. Rick Johnson
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