Hey You! Sales Managers and Owners...Listen UP!
I have been trying to make it rain for the past two weeks. Which means making a lot of sales calls...to printers. And here is what I have been hearing a lot:
- “I got no sales training of any kind.”
- “I have no sales goal.”
- “I was just told to sell, given a phone, and off I went.”
- “No one helps me. They just want to know where the sales are.”
And you wonder why a new print sales rep is miserable and leaves after four months? Or, why you “have” to fire a newbie after a year of selling practically nothing?
Here’s the deal, folks. You wouldn’t ask a contractor to build you a house with no tools, would you? Nope.
If you expect a new person to sell for you, and they did NOT come to you with a million dollar book of business (and we’ll talk about how that almost never happens either, in a later post), HOW do you expect him or her to be successful if you don’t arm him or her with the tools necessary to hit it out of the park?
Here are some of the excuses:
- You don’t know how to teach someone how to sell.
- You don’t know how to sell.
- You haven’t sold a new customer since the early ’90s.
There is no excuse for not giving your sales reps training. Finding them, hiring them and putting them on the payroll costs you a lot of money. So please don’t say you can’t afford to train.
What you CAN’T afford is to carry someone for six months or a year and then let that person go. Now THAT is expensive. And you can’t expect anyone to perform right out of the gate. Most experts agree that it takes at LEAST a year for a new person to become successful selling print today.
So design your own training program. Poll your sales people to find out what a new person MUST know in order to be successful. They have to know:
- where to look for new customers and what makes a good customer,
- what to say,
- how to execute a prospecting plan,
- how to overcome objections,
- get around voicemail,
- conduct a great meeting,
- present solutions, and
There are books you can get that can help with all of this. There are groups on LinkedIn. There are probably videos. Or, you can hire someone to help you. I can probably give you a few names...
Blogger, author, consultant, coach and all around evangelist for the graphic arts industry, Kelly sold digital printing for 15 years so she understands the challenges, frustrations and pitfalls of building a successful sales practice. Her mission is to help printers of all sizes sell more stuff. Kelly's areas of focus include sales and marketing coaching, enabling clients to find engagement strategies that work for them and mentoring the next generation of sales superstars.
Kelly graduated from the University of Michigan with a degree in Political Science and, among other notable accomplishments, co-founded the Windy City Rollers, a professional women's roller derby league. She is also the mother of two sets of twins under the age of ten, so she fears nothing.