Archive for the ‘Sales’ Category

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Are people looking forward to meeting with you?

September 20, 2010

Time is money. And in this economic climate, that time can be invaluable. So whether you are setting appointments with clients or prospects, make that time count, make it fun, and make someone look forward to your calendar request.

It sounds like account management 101, but still some fall short. One of my previous supervisors used to tell the account management staff at our Chicago office, “if people aren’t taking your calls or accepting meeting requests, they see no value in having that conversation.” That always stuck with me. It is a direct reflection of the value you bring to someone and the willingness to actually get to know an individual, not a business, a project, or a quota that gets you face time.

I have built on that lesson. Are my clients interacting with me or just reacting to me? Do they look forward to conversations that will be engaging, educating, and sometimes just plain old fun? I hope. I also hope that when that two-way conversation is over we all learned something new; about each other, our business, or that next project. And when we meet again we will see the results of that dialogue.

Sure technology has made our communication lives faster, shorter, and simpler, yet nothing ever replaces good old fashioned face-to-face relationship building conversation. Know your clients and what makes them tick and then get out, bring your A-game, talk business, and have some fun.

“We say we waste time, but that is impossible. We waste ourselves.”
Alice Bloch

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The sales stigma

July 16, 2010

I was talking with one of my friends who recently took a job in sales at a very reputable company. And even with that move, he has been questioned as to why he would go into sales after all that he has done before. Almost as if he had decided to sell all his belongings and move his family to some tropical destination to paint faces on coconuts for tourists. Actually… that sounds nice.

I believe that in most cases we are all sales people and it didn’t start in our professional lives. Remember when you wanted an extra scoop of ice cream or the latest and greatest whatevermajiggy when you were a child? Well we bartered, took on extra chores, and even pleaded we would listed and clean our room. If we didn’t ask, we didn’t get. And we certainly had to have a purposeful and well presented plan. Passion. Check. Enthusiasm. Check. Knowing your audience. Check.

I work in an integrated marketing agency and some of our best sales people hold the titles of creative director, client relationship manager, and PR specialist. We believe in our work, team, and that our end product is a solution to a problem. We breathe new life and creativity into stagnant situations and we get people to think. And when it is done, we get paid, receive referrals, and hopefully more work.

We establish relationships, instill trust, and bring value. We sell. We are salespeople and we shouldn’t forget or dispute it.

As I see it, my friend who made a career change has all of those qualities, plus he is a hell of a guy. My only question to him is how far he will go in his new “sales” career will take him.

What are you selling, oh don’t call me a salesperson, person?