Great Advice Twice
I left corporate sales when I was 25 years old to become a forms and print broker/distributor. Five years later, I started another venture, something that would eventually turn into Aspire in 2009.
Last October, when the idea for The Sales Vault found me, I began furiously preparing it for public consumption. While on the phone with my brilliant daughter, Madeline, I was explaining the concept and she said to me, “Dad, you need to read a book called 'The Lien Startup.' That’s really what you have here in this Vault idea. It’s essentially a startup.”
She was absolutely right. It had been a long time since I had been in this position and needed to relearn the lessons that are unique to building something from the ground up.
I am about 40% of the way through the book but wanted to share with you my two biggest takeaways:
First, listen to your customers. Seems like obvious advice, doesn’t it? The author talks about how his first startup was a failure in large part because they saw customer input as just another source of information and not what it really is, the single most important source of information.
So, I began phoning anyone who plunked down their $35 a month to become a Insider. I’d asked them where they were at and why they joined what they were looking for, etc. As you might imagine, I learned a great deal.
Then, I would go back to the book for the next lesson …
Second, keep listening to your customers. The author recommended that you not just call them once, but you stay in constant contact as if you are running alongside them while they use your product, or in this case, website. That was a surprise, but …
I got back on the phone and was stunned by the new information I received. It has been incredibly invaluable and helped us to pave the road as we walk along.
Are you staying in touch with your customers? Are you in the habit of speaking with them — especially your top customers — not just about the orders they place, but where they are headed as a company? If you were in my time management course, I would give you this task to do while driving from point A to point B.
I have been in sales for almost 40 years now and I am somewhat embarrassed to admit that I learn this lesson over and over and over again: The answers to almost all of my questions and sales challenges can be found by talking to my clients. How am I doing? The client will tell me. Where should I go next? The client knows.
Talk to your customers. Listen to your customers. Ask your customers. Then, listen to your customers again. And again. And again.
Become a Sales Vault Insider for just $35/month and gain access to ideas for solving your sales challenges. Go to BillFarquharson.com or call Bill at 781-934-7036.
Bill Farquharson is a respected industry expert and highly sought after speaker known for his energetic and entertaining presentations. Bill engages his audiences with wit and wisdom earned as a 40-year print sales veteran while teaching new ideas for solving classic sales challenges. Email him at email@example.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 salesvault.pro.