The Sales Prevention Department
Before you eat in a restaurant, you should first be a waiter or a waitress.
Before you drive a car, you should spend a day with a cop on the road.
Before your first day in Sales, you should spend time in the shop as a CSR.
There are two jobs that I would love to do before I die. The first is to sell cars. I love cars but that’s not why. I am tired of the poor selling skills that come from that corner of our profession and would like to show them how to do it right. I think Bill Belichick has the same thinking as a reason for signing Tim Tebow, though his motivation is a little more vengeful towards the Jets, however.
The other job that I would like to do is to serve as a waiter. Again, I see this as a chance to right the wrongs of past eating experiences and have some perspective on the rigors of the job from the other side. But I will save further comments for the mythical column I write for Food magazine.
Salespeople have a skewed vision of what it takes to be in Customer Service. The amount of grousing and complaining and the sheer volume of blame that gets put on the support staff is summarized in a phrase I heard recently when describing the dysfunction within one certain printing company: The Sales Prevention Department.
But what if we had to serve time being on the receiving end of an order? How different would it be if we were handed the drop-and-run job instead of being the drop-ee? I’d imagine we’d all get a slight glimpse into their world and be all the better for it. Communication would improve. Compliments would flow. Thanks from the clients would be shared. Just a brief stint at the desk would give us the perspective to know better.
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: email@example.com or (781) 934-7036 to discuss your sales challenges.