Saturday, April 30, 2016

General Patton and your declining sales

How would General Patton, General MacArthur, and Admiral King address today's complaints from your sales team?
Distributor sales is NOT a safe haven.  It's NOT for the person who is only half decided they are going to be their best.  It's NOT for the person who is complacent or content.
"The industry is at a turning point. It's time for
each sales person to step up or step aside."
Has each member of your sales team taken the oath to "Do or Die" in their territory? Have they taken the oath to advance, to capture new accounts, to grow their sales, to do whatever it takes to win?
Excuse #1 - "It's better to wait until business picks up."
General Douglas MacArthur US Army, knew the cause of failure: "The history of failure can be summed up in two words: too late. Too late in comprehending the deadly purpose of a potential enemy; too late in realizing the mortal danger; too late in preparedness; too late in uniting all possible forces for resistance; too late in training our troops."
Excuse #2 - "My competitor has an advantage over me."
General George Patton, US Army, knew the attitude it takes to win when he said: "It is the cold glitter in the attacker's eye not the point of the questing bayonet that breaks the line."
Excuse #3 - "It's difficult when customers are not buying."
Here's what Admiral Ernest J King, US Navy, had to say: "DIFFICULT is the name given to things which it is our business to overcome."
Excuse #4 - "My objectives are too high."
Here's what Napoleon Bonaparte, French Emperor, has to say: “How many things apparently impossible have nevertheless been performed by resolute men and women who had no alternatives but death!”
Excuse #5 - "I have been given an impossible task."
Here's what Field Marshal Arthur Wellesley, British Army, has to say: "He who declares a thing to be impossible, which is subsequently accomplished, registers his own incapacity."
PS: To learn how I went from a nobody to the #1 sales trainer In the 200 billion dollar foodservice distribution industry visit

Monday, April 11, 2016

"I Really Love What I Do"

If you are a new sales person and do not understand the principles of selling your reactions are predictable. When faced with a tough customer you get humiliated, upset, embarrassed and mad. You take the prospects rudeness as a personal insult.

Your ego gets wounded and your mind starts filling up with negative thoughts. Your attitude is reflected in your face.  You try to get control – but it’s too late.  The prospect won in the first round!

If you DO understand the principles of selling your reaction is also predictable.  You understand that you are a sales person and the prospect is on the defensive. They are afraid you are going talk them into something they do not want.

The prospect is afraid you have a certain power over them and that is why they are ignoring you.   By understanding the PRINCIPLES you know that the customer is simply setting the stage and sending you a message – a message that says he is important, his time is valuable, he is in control of this meeting. By understanding the PRINCIPLES you do not let the situation turn negative.

 You say to yourself “I really love what I do – I love my profession.”

 “I really love playing the selling game.”

"He’s made his first move and he is doing it quite well."

 "When he does acknowledge me I will greet him with a smile and an attitude of appreciation for letting me talk to him."

The person who fails usually has been thoroughly trained in the products and services they are going to sell - they have NOT been trained in the psychology and principles of selling.

Most non-selling managers and business owners believe that successful sales people are born that way. This is simply not true. A sales person needs professional training just as much as a doctor, lawyer, airline pilot, accountant, carpenter or chef. Why should selling be any different?

Successful sales people learn the principles of selling and apply them.  Sales people who fail do not learn the principles of selling and rely on their ability to “wing it”, which ultimately lets them down. We have already touched on an important principle.

The key is managing your attitude under all the various selling situations. Programming your mind to react in a certain way in a specific situation.

To manage your attitude you must monitor your thoughts and feelings under every selling situation. Approach it as if you were doing a scientific study.  When you find that you are reacting negatively to a specific situation, you have found an opportunity to sharpen your skill.

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Friday, April 8, 2016

Why they are out of business

"Doing business based on relationships, service, and trust, is just not as highly valued as it used to be."

"In today's economy it has become about contracts and pennies."
"The passion for service is gone."

"Willing to do what-ever-it-takes to serve the customer doesn't have the value it used to have."

Those are four quotes from the president of a distribution company given during an interview as the reason they shut down their business. I have some concerns about this. As bad as I hate to see anyone close down (because it can almost always be avoided) I think these reasons are pretty thin.

Let's do a little case study. Let's look at this from the customer's point of view.

Relationship: If you think relationships are not highly valued, try doing business without one. Just the opposite is true!

I am not going to pay a higher price because of our relationship, but you will get to keep my business if we have a good relationship and you don't take advantage of it. I mean that when your company has a special price on something and you don't offer it to me because you know I will buy it anyway, is that a relationship or are you just using me to pad your gross profit?

If a competitor comes in and offers me a lower price on something that you have been overcharging me on, is that taking a relationship seriously? It seems to me that a relationship is a two way street. I give you my business and you take care of me.

I have every competitor in the market calling on me begging for my business! Do you think I am going to turn them away while you are calling me on the phone for your order and they are bringing me samples, specials and ideas?

From a customer's point of view the relationship has to be stronger than ever before. It has to be sincere. It has to be beneficial for both of us. Trust: Integrity is another word for trust. Do these examples below make me trust you? You can fool some of the people some of the time, but trust is more important than ever. You have to earn it by telling the truth.

~Do these examples build trust?

~A pound cake is not really a pound.

~A foot long hot dog is only 10 inches.

~Many number 10 cans are not number 10’s.

~Shrimp baskets don’t have all the shrimp.

~Retailers put incorrect prices in their scanners.

~Product manipulation, product substitution and short weight are considered strategies.

~Intentional invoice over charges and mistakes are built into the system of many banks, credit card companies and mortgage companies.

~Water is injected in lobster tails to increase their weight.

~Products are in the market that are over breaded, over glazed and over pumped.

~Scallops are soaked in sodium-trypoly-phosphate to increase weight. 37 billion bottles of water are sold every year with much of it being simply tap water!

HONESTY ALWAYS WORKS BEST! The best sales person is always the one who bluntly tells the truth. It is not only impressive but it leaves a trail of trust behind. Not the best talker wins, it’s the most honest talker. The best approach to building customer trust is to deserve confidence.

Service: "What-ever-it-takes to serve the customer doesn't have the value it used to have!" Immediate, enthusiastic and energetic response to a customer request is more valued than ever.

The problem is sales people have become so dependent on technology that the secret of good customer service has disappeared! What does your voice mail sound like? If you are a president or vice president, call your own company and see what impression your customers are getting. Passion for service is more appreciated than it has ever been, because it is so rare!

"Dial 1 for shipping, dial 2 for warehouse, dial 3 for directions, dial 4 for credit, dial 5 for accounts payable!" Is that "what-ever-it-takes service?”

Here's the bottom line. Things are changing. FAST. And if you are not changing with them you know what will happen.

The solution? You have to do things the hard way - you have to go back to SELLING! You have to get back to making face to face contact (that's called service), bring your customers VALUE and some good reasons to TRUST you so you can build a good relationship.

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