Archive for September, 2014

Travel and salesI wouldn’t consider myself a road warrior. But I spend enough time on the road to catch glimpses of conversations on planes and in airports.  This week while traveling to North Carolina, Atlanta, New York and finally Boston I had the “opportunity” to “overhear”  a very loud sales person talking on the phone while waiting to board the plane.

His conversation went something like this…

“I really don’t care about the sale. They’ve drug this out so long. I just want to be done – so I can move on. This has taken way to long and now they are rushing the contract. What’s the hurry? Implementation and rollout aren’t until April.”

Obviously I don’t know the background of the sale, the sales person, the customer or circumstances. But as I listened to this totally disinterested, frustrated and arrogant sales person and his attitude toward serving his customer a flow of thoughts and questions hit me. Here are a few:

  • I hope that’s not what my sales team sounds like.
  • How does the customer feel when interacting with this sales person?
  • During the early stages I can imagine him dropping in with a cheesy smile, dinner and glass of wine saying “So you ready to sign?”
  • Is his attitude bleeding over to the customer? Are they sensing a change in attitude? If not today, how long before they see the real character of their sales rep?
  • He sounds like a one and gun sales man complaining when he doesn’t get the sale and even when he does.
  • Was he concerned that the contract wasn’t right for the customer or right for him? Based on his conversation my guess was the later.
  • What long term opportunities are lost by such an attitude?
  • What company does he work for? Is this a company mine set or an individual? Based on a secondary conversation where he complained about someone “He’s not on our side he’s a company man. That’s why he was promoted”

I was left with a very small glimpse of the story. But his conversation gave me  a moment to reflect on my own attitude and interactions with customers. A few personal questions:

  • In every conversation am I building positive relationships? This could be with customers, team mates, managers or potential customers eavesdropping on a conversation.
  • Do  my customers know and feel like I’m working for them?
  • Am I genuine through entire process – sales, close, implementation and account management?
  • Do I work the sale after the sell?
  • Have I slipped into a mode of negativity?
  • Do I need a personal attitude adjustment or is it time for a change?
  • If someone overheard my conversations would they want to do business with my company?
  • Would they want to do business with me?

Ultimately this overheard conversation reminded me to be mindful that even when you’re not selling you’re selling! Maybe to people you don’t even know are listening.

Have a great week!
Jody Sedrick
Follow me on Twitter: @jodysedrick and @zenewareinc
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