Secrets of The Salesman

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Re: Secrets of The Salesman

Brownski
In reply to this post by PeeTex
PeeTex wrote
You mentioned he wanted you to train your competition, that's a customer I would walk away from - that was a shitty request
I agree. That would set off my bullshit detector right there. If they want your secrets, they should be offering to buy you out.

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Re: Secrets of The Salesman

Brownski
In reply to this post by ScottyJack
ScottyJack wrote
You guys have no sense of humor!!!  Unbelievable
Dude, you're hilarious. Everybody here knows you're hilarious. Please keep it up.

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Re: Secrets of The Salesman

ScottyJack
Well a fella likes a little validation and attention once in awhile!  Thx bro!!

"True Grit is like a river.  The deeper it runs, the less noise it makes."
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Re: Secrets of The Salesman

Harvey
Admin
In reply to this post by PeeTex
PeeTex wrote
You mentioned he wanted you to train your competition, that's a customer I would walk away from - that was a shitty request
I agree that is not professional.

Consider however my situation vs yours.  You don't have to work, you are set to retire if you like, and can be choosy.

Probably half of our customers have some flaw that would cause you to walk away: bad business model, whiny, cheap etc.  If I jettison each of those customers I've probably got to lay off half our staff to remain solvent.  (I realize that a less than ideal customer base is MY fault as one of the owners.)

Also remember that we are being paid fairly for the work we are doing.  And if we resign the business we are then out of the hunt for the much larger pie that is at stake.

Our biggest piece of business company wide (not this account) is a five year contract that ends in December and then goes back out to bid, if we don't win it back there will be serious pain.  I am in no position to be resigning a profitable piece business with a potentially big upside.

"If it's my mountain, I'm installing a fixed grip and telling the lifties to stuff the beginners into chairs as aggressively as they have to to keep it going full speed." —Brownski
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Re: Secrets of The Salesman

Brownski
Those are good points, Harv. I took PT's post to mean walking away from that particular deal. Maybe I read it too fast. One of my biggest frustrations is that I have a lot of suppliers who, when I try to get them involved with an account to help advance our business, will be too choosy about who they want to talk to based on personality, likability, location etc... these guys might have the whole state or an even larger region to cover so they think they can afford to discriminate. I have a discreet list of customers so, asshole or not, I have to make my nut with my guys so I understand what you're saying. Keeping and building up this customer is definately the right priority.

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Re: Secrets of The Salesman

Harvey
Admin
I think he was talking about that one client, but I was saying for us, unfortunately, it's not scalable.  The client is paying a fair rate for the work and we need the revenue, so I am not resigning the account.  Also I have to say personally, if we were to win all the business, my part of the work is very exciting (to me, not to a normal human) and it would really raise our profile as a company.

It is certainly a goal to be in the position PeeTex recommends.  My partner is much more on the "screw em they don't deserve us" side of every discussion. I'm more timid, "hey it's revenue."

I hate the idea of letting people go because I can't keep them busy.

"If it's my mountain, I'm installing a fixed grip and telling the lifties to stuff the beginners into chairs as aggressively as they have to to keep it going full speed." —Brownski
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Re: Secrets of The Salesman

PeeTex
I did mean the client and just that deal.
A good business client is one that not only looks out for himself but also treats his suppliers well. In the US with the short term mentality it's hard to find. Ofcourse I am not living it like you do but he just seemed shady which means he might screw you later, whether it's by with holding payments or changing specs & not wanting to pay you for the changes.

Yes, I can walk away from any job or client so I am very picky. I also don't charge my clients a premium, they get a good deal, I get work that interests me and I get paid usually in less than 5 days of invoice. If they screw with me the next time they call I tell them I'm busy.

Z
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Re: Secrets of The Salesman

Z
Sorry Harv been out selling this week

I spend a week or two off the road then are out there.  I like being at home but If I spend 2-3 weeks straight in my home office I get a bit antsy.

I think you pointed out a lot of stuff here.  You or whom ever is your sales guy / gal need to spend more time with your customers.  Not just to show up with donuts but providing value for their time.  Figure out what provides that and do it.

Know what your firm does well and what it doesn't.  Nothing earns your clients trust like saying hey don't buy that from us as it is not our best product due to X but we do this other thing better than anyone.

I don't bash competitors but I would never agree to train a competitor by contract you are getting a cut of that.

Try to make your selling not seem like selling but more of a consultation geared to help the client.  It's t needs to be win win.

I'm not a commission sales guy as our business cycle is measured in years in the medical space.  Take the long approach to developing clients.

"It is better to go skiing and think of God, than go to church and think of sport."
Artic Explorer Fridtjof Nansen
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Re: Secrets of The Salesman

Harvey
Admin
In reply to this post by PeeTex
PeeTex wrote
A good business client is one that not only looks out for himself but also treats his suppliers well.
Totally agree.

PeeTex wrote
...he might screw you later, whether it's by with holding payments or changing specs & not wanting to pay you for the changes.
If it is in writing he will honor it.  The parent company is does not want their reputation damaged.

"If it's my mountain, I'm installing a fixed grip and telling the lifties to stuff the beginners into chairs as aggressively as they have to to keep it going full speed." —Brownski
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Re: Secrets of The Salesman

Harvey
Admin
In reply to this post by Z
Coach Z wrote
I spend a week or two off the road then are out there.  I like being at home but If I spend 2-3 weeks straight in my home office I get a bit antsy.
I am the opposite. I hate air travel especially.  It's not a good trait for a business owner.

Coach Z wrote
You or whom ever is your sales guy / gal need to spend more time with your customers.  Not just to show up with donuts but providing value for their time.  Figure out what provides that and do it.
This is our biggest problem. We don't really have a sales person.  My partner is the best person for the job and she is the best we have, by a long shot, but it is not, at her core, who she is.  To some extent it is a miracle that we have remained in business all these years.  We struggle at hunting (landing new leads) and excel at farming (servicing the hell out of things and growing existing business.

Three different times over the last 20 years we have brought in a "proven sales guy" to handle hunting.  We have spent a lot of money with zero results.

The second part of your statement is an immutable fact and we work very hard to do that.

"If it's my mountain, I'm installing a fixed grip and telling the lifties to stuff the beginners into chairs as aggressively as they have to to keep it going full speed." —Brownski
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