Be A Resource Not A Source

Filed Under (Uncategorized) by Don on 17-05-2007

Okay, I admit it.  I’m opinionated!  But that’s okay because we should all have very strong opinions about certain things in our lives.  Maybe it’s politics, religion, work ethics, or sales strategies.   I have strong opinions regarding sales and sales management.  That doesn’t mean I’m always right nor does it mean I can’t learn to change to meet the marketplace either.  However, I have observed quite often that sales people and sales management won’t change and are stuck doing business like they did back in the 1970′s.  Sales people have to be forward-thinking and always keen on the market changes and conditions.  They have to work smart, plan strategically and always have their sales funnel filled with new prospects.

Sadly, a lot of today’s sales people only want the sale and don’t want to go through the process of earning the sale.  They stalk their next sales victim instead of encouraging and devoting time to educate and understand the prospects needs.  As a dealer we think of ourselves as one source of supplies to our customers.  That line of thinking is okay if you have a walk-in store (transactional business) and the customers come to you.  But if you really want to earn their respect and create a real need for you and your business you have to become a resource (consultative selling), not a source.  It is already assumed that you are a source but you have to demonstrate to the prospects that you are more than that; you are a very valuable resource! 

You have to take the time to learn about their business and what their specific needs are.  Don’t rely solely on office products.  If you are not selling furniture, you are missing valuable margins.  Same thing goes with other products and services.  Maybe investing in an on-site shred truck and provide a value-added service if your customer base can support it.  Perhaps it’s a beverage service or office cleaning service.  If you don’t provide these types and kinds of services or if they don’t meet your long range business plans then think about networking yourself with those that do.  Become a wealth of knowledge and talk to the owners, CEO’s and managers of your client base.  Think of it as a selling chain with links between the CEO’s office and the guy in the warehouse.  Every link in the chain is connected and your strength lies in the connections of these lengths.  As a resource to that company the owners and employees will learn that they can depend on your skills and experience to meet their needs.

I’ll leave you today with Zig Ziglar’s definition of Success:  “Success means doing the best we can with what we have.  Success is the doing, not the getting; in the trying, not the triumph.  Success is a personal standard, reaching for the highest that is in us, becoming all that we can be.  If we do our best, we are a success.  Success is the maximum utilization of the ability that you have.”

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