Farquharson/Tedesco on Business Development: Presidents Day Sales Analogies
What can we, as print shop owners and salespeople, learn from our great presidents No. 1 and No. 16? First, don't worry about past losses. Fuhgeddaboutem! No matter how experienced you are, from time to time you'll blow a sale. Instead, focus on being there for your customers when they need you most.
"Malice toward none; charity for all," is a well-known Lincoln quote. We couldn't agree more! Lincoln's extraordinary empathy allowed him to greatly influence friends and foes alike, helping him rack up an impressive list of accomplishments. How empathetic are you? When you're listening to customers rant, do you go out of your way to empathize with them? Or, like many salespeople, are you waiting for them to shut up so you can make your point?
Listening isn't enough. If you want to provide useful leadership to your clients, take a walk in their shoes. Understand their obstacles, pains and the challenges that keep them up at night. If you can visualize their problems and present solutions, you'll sell more! Trust us—we're in sales!
Picture your exasperated prospect waiting for a print shipment that should've arrived. Imagine them sheepishly telling their client or boss that a key deadline will be missed because their printer—you—let them down. This sort of visualization will help you better understand the challenges of the people you're trying to influence. From there you can provide the guidance they need to better succeed.
Not only was Lincoln an expert on his own weaknesses, he took advantage of this knowledge. Honest Abe tended to give subordinates too many chances, so he came up with ways to keep himself in check. When Union Army chief George McClellan refused to follow orders, Lincoln set a deadline for himself for removing the wayward general, knowing that otherwise the future would be the same as the past.
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