My Favorite Customer
Marilyn Vos Savant—the reputed “smartest person in the world”—once said, “If you don’t have a favorite child, you don’t know your kids very well.” I am going to let that one go without additional personal comment, just in case my girls are reading me.
What I will tell you is that I have a favorite customer. Her name is Paula and she is a rock star in my book.
There are two reasons why Paula is my fave. First, she displayed a courtesy to me unlike any other I have ever experienced. Paula became my favorite when she invited me to her shop in Baltimore and picked me up personally at the airport. Since it was late when I arrived, Paula dropped me off at the hotel with a basket of snack food and water. She was concerned that I would be peckish and there would be no restaurant open. I have been in love with her ever since.
The second reason why Paula is my favorite has to do with her business acumen. I have a tremendous amount of respect for Paula’s skills as a printer and especially as a sales manager. She runs a tight ship with a no-nonsense approach—I will reward effort so long as you demonstrate commitment to your job. Simple enough, right?
Paula has the perfect attitude regarding her sales force: Let them sell. Each Monday morning at 9 a.m., she sits with her sales team (which varies in number from 1 to 3 sales people) and they quickly run through a standard agenda.
The reps know they need to come prepared. It is not a good idea to cross Ms. Paula and NEVER advisable to engage in a war of words with her as one of my competitors found out years ago in a public print serve (yet another reason why I love this woman!). Sales reps know to bring their A game to that meeting or risk facing the Wrath of Khan.
Bill Farquharson is a partner at Idealliance. As a print-specific sales trainer, Farquharson applies a fundamentally-sound approach to his coaching, online programs (found at sales.epicomm.org), and live presentations. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or (781) 934-7036 to discuss your sales challenges.