Beat Customers to Their Own Future
When I was in college, I had a sales job working for a large, national company. My district manager was a free-spirited guy named John Allen, a man who looked more like a frazzled college professor than a businessman.
John was asked by my alma mater, UMass/Amherst, to interview seniors who were looking for work. His first interview was with a thoroughly unprepared candidate who is obviously only there for the practice. The second one, too. John decided he either needs to quit wasting his time or help these seniors to get serious about finding a job.
From that point on, John’s first question was, "What can you tell me about my company and where is our next opportunity for growth?”
Not one candidate could answer and John promptly ended the interview.
I just finished rewriting a Sales Vault presentation called, "What Makes the Best of the Best the Best of the Best." As I thought about and studied this subject, one thing that occurred to me was the depth of knowledge top salespeople have of their top customers. They not only know what the company does, but spend a fair amount of time on their industry.
I make 10 points in this presentation. One of them will be, “If you want to emulate the Best of the Best, act as if your top accounts will call you any day now and ask your opinion on where they should take their company next.”
If you are frowning right now and thinking, “That sounds really hard,” try it before you make that assumption. Look at their website. Google their industry trends. While you will most likely never be asked this question by your client, this exercise might give you something to talk to your customers about as you consider their opportunities for 2022.
… And yours, too!
Act as if your customers will ask you, “Where are our future opportunities for growth?”
The best of the best do. Do you?
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Bill Farquharson is a sales trainer for the graphic arts. Email him at Bill@AspireFor.com or call (781) 934-7036. Bill’s two books, The 25 Best Print Sales Tips Ever and Who’s Making Money at Digital/Inkjet Printing…and How? as well as information on his new subscription-based website, The Sales Vault are available at BillFarquharson.com.