First, I sit down and looked at the features of the company I am working for, we aren't the cheapest, in fact, and we're nearly the most expensive in the market. We have a sixty year history in the area, and we have a catchy advertising catch phrase that people have remembered. It's one of those deals where when you walk in and introduce yourself, you get the tagline. That's a great hook to start a conversation, so that's something to start.
The next point is to match the company's features to the marketplace to find our "sweet spot". Since I'll need to do a bunch of cold calling to build a pipeline, I need to prequalify to find the most likely leads that'll lead to a sale, commissions are important. Once I find my leads, and develop them, I need to put everything in to a CRM so that I can follow and plan my attack. A salesman's first instinct is to hit the road and collect all the business cards and hope for the best, but I've found that having 450 business cards and no system isn't the best way to approach things. It's time to spend a little time getting organized , hit the phones and email to contact people and build relationships, keep all the notes in the CRM and hope for the best.
Time to turn to the service people who'll handle my customers when they interface with the customer. Since I'm selling a service, it's vital that I understand the people that I'm selling. I've sold service in the past, and I've learned that people may not remember the company that they hired, but in most cases, they remember the technician that delivers the service. So I make time to talk with my technicians, learn about them, and build a rapport. Technicians want to provide a service, and live by production numbers, so they want you to sell them, and they'll help you with referrals. In our company, technicians are expected to sell, so we also have to decide how we'll handle opportunities. Some technicians hate selling and are grateful to have me in the mix, others see me as a threat, so now we negotiate, this is a work in progress. I have to meet with the receptionists and office staff to build a relationship that has them on my side. I've brought in chocolate and other goodies, yes it's bribery, but I'm not above that.
The next step is to learn the "tribal knowledge", that's the practical way that works to get things done within the organization. We've all read the organizational chart, and know how the book says things work, but we've all been in organizations and know that the chart isn't the way it really works. There are people you work with, and people that you work around. That's the nature of the beast in any organization, and I need to know that. Tomorrow I meet with the Corporate Sales Manager, and hopefully, a lot of those questions get answered. Stay tuned.
Labels: David Colomb