I just had an aha moment after needing my car to be repaired at a small family owned and operated service station in a small town of a population of 3,000.
I got to talking to the co-owner of the garage while I was waiting for my car to be finished. This couple bought the business 3 years ago and they have tripled the business in that period.
Their customer service was impeccable, and you knew they treated their employees (perhaps 5 employee’s in total) like gold.
The co-owner explained to me that they paid their mechanic higher than any other mechanic in the region, gave him 4 weeks off a year, paid vacation, and supplied lunch every single day.
That mechanic treated the business like it was his own.
After my service was complete they went over in detail what they had done and explained to me that the parts were under warranty and that if anything goes wrong, let them know and they’ll make sure they fix it, they then gave me their card so I could call anytime.
The real point of my story is that the one partner used to be a sales person before buying this business. I mentioned that I was in sales to and had written a book about sales. She was intrigued and said she would buy one of my books for sure. There you go, I made a quick sale in the middle of nowhere.
She then went on to say that she knew how difficult it can be to be a sales person and her business receives calls all the time from sales people wanting her business. Whether it be for tools, insurance, cleaning supplies you name it.
Because of her experience as a sales person herself, she is particularly sensitive to sales people and makes sure that when they call she is kind and doesn’t just fluff them off.
The aha moment for me came when I learned very quickly that the sales challenges that I write about extensively are much more pervasive than I imagined. Sure my book applies to all B2B business, but I really didn’t think in terms of this small an example.
She told me the story of receiving a call from a sales person asking to speak to the owner. She politely asked the sales person if they knew what the owner’s name was. The sales rep responded that no he didn’t know the name but wanted to speak with whoever it was.
She promptly hung up and told me, if a rep can’t even be prepared enough and do the research to know who the owners of the business are, they don’t get any time with me.
Here is a small b2b business owner, in a small town, far from any sized city environment, and she wants a better B2B sales experience. She wants more from sales people.
Just think of how important and how prepared you need to be in every sales interaction, and multiply that 10x for larger and more complex sales engagements.
Buyers expectations are higher than they have ever been, and I mean pretty much any buyer.
Do not underestimate the importance of preparing--if you don't prepare, be prepared to fail.
For more information and insights into sales organization imperatives see my website, www.streetsavvysalesleadership.com , or to pre order my upcoming book, The Street Savvy Sales Leader, A Guide to Building Teams that Consistently Win New Business.
Street Savvy Sales Leadership offers individual sales or sales leadership coaching, workshops, contract work, advising, and speaking engagements.
If you have any questions or comments, please email me at email@example.com
Street Savvy Sales Leadership