In recent years sales professionals from all industries have been tasked with selling more SKUs. Unless these companies move quickly to reinforce the roles of honesty, integrity and clear and transparent relationships, their customers will find other providers to meet their needs. Companies that survive and thrive are the ones who concentrate on the sales managers’ role in the coaching process.
According to Darryl Rosen 30 year veteran, “Companies should be monitoring how forthcoming their sales and management plan, “To see if managers are guiding sales professionals towards more open and transparent relationships with customers. Rosen recommends the following.
• Let the truth out quickly, not slowly. Mike McCurry was Bill Clinton's press person during the Monica Lewinsky/White House intern days. His most famous quote came during the Lewinsky scandal when he was being bombarded with hostile questions. He suggested that he was "telling the truth - but slowly." With all the options these days, customers have more choices than ever. The slightest hint of impropriety will spell bad news for an ongoing relationship.
• Build trust through your actions. When you display trust first, that ultimately leads to a more trusting environment. Building your competence and skills leads to trust. Teaching others and helping others leads to trust. Giving accurate advice leads to trust. And random acts of kindness lead to trust. The point is you often have to get the ball rolling to build trust. It does not always happen automatically.
• Always adhere to your customer’s best interests The worst of all sales professionals let their customers buy products when they know a mistake is being made. They look the other way and just wait for the commission check. You may win the battle but you will never win the war with that mentality because your customers are not only buying your products – but they’re also buying you. They buy people with integrity because people with integrity do what they say they will do. In every business relationship, your customer hopes that you are looking out for her. If she doesn’t feel that way, you won’t make the sale.
• Admit your mistakes – hold yourself accountable. Take responsibility. Why did it happen? The chances are you made a choice and the violation was clearly an extension of that choice. Acknowledge how the effected party may be feeling. Understand, after you have made a mistake and violated the trust placed in you, that it is not about you and how you are feeling or what you are going through. It is about what your customer is feeling.
Steven Covey said it best: “Trust impacts us 24/7, 365 days a year. It undergirds and affects the quality of every relationship, every communication, every work project, every business venture, and every effort in which we are engaged. It changes the quality of every present moment and alters the trajectory and outcome of every future moment of our lives – both personally and professionally.
Rosen has produced a FREE special report called: Are Overwhelmed Sales Professionals Underwhelming Your Sales? Where he discusses the 8 key questions your company should focus on to turn the challenge of an increasingly complex product mix into an opportunity;
About Darryl Rosen: Major companies in the food and beverage industry trust Darryl to help their sales and management teams outrun ordinary and achieve extraordinary sales execution and results. Darryl’s clients include: Monster Energy, Heidelberg Distributing, Prestige Wine Imports, House of Larose and a whole host of MillerCoors and Anheuser Busch distributor partners