What is sales Where is sales How are sales

July 20, 2009
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E-mailed question from a reader: “Do you feel there’s a danger that ‘sales’ gets walled into one department of the organization? Do you believe that the sales philosophy needs to permeate the whole company and that there should an element of every employee in the company doing a ‘sales’ job of one kind or another? If so, do leaders and managers need to focus on developing this more?”

Reality: Every single person in every single company is either in sales or affects sales. Every single person in every single company is either in service or affects service.

There’s an old business adage that goes: “Everyone is in sales.”

The reality is that only salespeople believe this. Even customer service people who touch customers daily and spend hours with them in what might be considered a gateway to the next sale don’t think of themselves as in sales, or don’t think of themselves as salespeople.

Key point of understanding: Your customers are judging every aspect of every transaction and rating everything from friendliness of people to ease of doing business, quality of product and service after the sale.

They’re judging how easy it is to access someone on the phone. They’re judging how the package arrived. They’re judging what the instruction book is like. And they’re certainly judging service, should they need it.

The dilemma is that leadership fails to communicate and teach the importance of customers’ interactions and perceptions as they relate to the success of the company. The reason everyone in the company doesn’t perceive or realize that they’re in sales is that no one has told them and no one has taught them.

The CEO, executives and top management in big and small companies need to be able to sell every day.

The chief executive officer is also the chief sales officer. He or she is responsible for the success of the company, and the success of the company is based on selling quality goods and making a profit. The closer the CEO is to the everyday selling process, the more successful the company will become.

There has to be a partnership between the sales team, the management team and the executive team. Leadership must create the products or the services and the messages. But the messages have to be transferable and perceived by the customer to be favorable.

Management’s job is to convey leadership’s message in a compelling and inspiring way — not just in meetings, but also by example. And finally, salespeople must convert these messages and their training into sales.

My belief is that the company should provide the salesperson with every training tool they need, combined with encouragement, to succeed.

For the past 10 years, we have enjoyed the biggest boom-time economy in the history of mankind. During that time, many businesses took their customers for granted while they reaped profits.

Many companies were not very prudent about how they conducted their business, and when the economy turned, they were ill-prepared to meet the change. They had every excuse in the world why things were wrong, but no solid reason or idea or game plan to make them better.

Here are a few “teach tips” to get your team to the next level:

Teach everyone that attitude is the foundation of success, both personal and business.

Teach everyone the importance of friendliness.

Teach everyone that speed of response is not an option.

Teach everyone how to respond to customer complaints.

Teach everyone that service is as important as sales.

Teach everyone to ask for more business.

Teach everyone to suggest more.

Teach everyone to thank the customer for their business.

The key word is “teach” because, while these are courses that no one ever learned in school, they are vital to your success — especially in these times.

These elements may seem fundamental — almost rudimentary — to anyone’s job function. But more business is lost to apathy, rudeness, slow response, poor attitude and lack of friendliness than is lost to low price — times a thousand.

Challenge: If you tell your people everyone is in sales, why don’t you follow through and help them sell?

Thought: If everyone in the company is in sales, why are only salespeople invited to sales meetings?

Reality: You are overlooking huge sales opportunities at a time when sales are harder to come by, and every sale counts.

Free Git-Bit: If you would like an additional thought for sales success in these times, go to www.gitomer.com, and enter the word EVERYONE in the GitBit box. Jeffrey Gitomer can be reached at (704) 333-1112 or e-mail salesman@gitomer.com

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