Looking for good dependable sales professionals for your organization? Go to the mall and buy something this holiday. You’re likely to find your next great team member.
Unless you sell sunglasses or barbeques, you may think the summer is a sleepy time to do business. I recently had a client call me to help her with some training in a community that had been in a census decline since January. She was in a hurry to get me in front of her sales team because soon “it would be summer and there would be no traffic.” Somehow inquiries would come to a screeching halt and if they didn’t “close” everyone in May, they would surely have no business again until fall.
I am always anxious to hear what’s new, what’s different and who is driving innovation in our field. Recently I attended what I anticipated would be a very special networking breakfast. It was a local provider group, smaller than usual with about 20 people, a great atmosphere for learning about my senior industry colleagues, their products, and their services.
There is nothing more exciting than starting a new job. Especially if its one that you have earned with shrewd networking, endless interviews and a stockpile of unique qualifications that made you a perfect fit for the position. Next time you have a new hire remember what you felt like on your first day.
I get many calls from business owners who want to correct a problem they are having usually related to a lack of revenue, a sales slump, or an under performing sales team. In all cases, changes need to take place - usually sooner rather than later. It might be better training, product improvement, increased marketing effort or sometimes a personnel change. All this takes some hard thought, some thorough investigation and often additional funding to retain an outside professional to help with the process and make the changes.
Did you get the deposit? Did they sign? Did you get the check? Questions we hear everyday in Senior Living. Some days our work is narrowed down to how many move ins will we have, how many hot leads are we working, who can we "close"? If we imagined we got up every morning with the sole aim of collecting checks from would-be residents, none of us would still be in this rewarding, but challenging, business of changing people's lives.
Years ago when I worked for the retail giant Federated, I was privileged to hear a great man speak about the impending demise of the Specialty Store. You remember, those stores where people knew your name, where goods were shipped to your home on approval and where sales ladies in black dresses, and men in suits, showed you to a fitting room or wrapped your gifts.
In my business there is great disagreement about whether anyone can be trained to sell. But in any business where personal lives or great sums of money are at stake, training is essential. If a person has natural talent to connect with others, that is a gift. But the skill to discover what someone really needs or wants can most definitely be taught.
When we sell something, anything, we may often have to depend upon someone else to deliver that product we just sold. Whether its senior living, real estate, office equipment or financial services you may not ultimately be in charge of delivering the product you sold to your customer. The distance between the sale and the delivery to the customer can be enormous.
Many years ago, early in my career I worked for a woman who was possibly the most savvy business person I have ever encountered. She was full of wisdom. Her management style was simple and powerful. Her mantra: Treat your clients like gold and honor your sales team as the life blood of your business. During my training she said the most valuable thing I have ever learned. "If you want to be successful, just show up for your appointments and return your calls."