By Sid Chadwick
“The best leaders are the ones who shut-up when it’s time to go to work”……Chris Webber
If you have at least four Reps, one probably sells at top dollar pricing, and three – probably not so much.
Can that “gap” in successful pricing skills from your Reps – be closed – for an improved bottom line…?
Our Plant Manager and Business Development Peer Groups met together – to visit a long-term client with over 10 Sales Reps. Our host’s “systems for rewarding improved performance” to their employees, from their Pressroom to their Sales Reps – I considered worth studying (while also suggesting multiple opportunities to yet “tweak” for further, potential improvements).
Our host volunteered that several of their top Reps were earning $2,000 to $ 3,000 per month – in bonus commissions, above their standard commissions – by up-selling prices to customers on projects – where the value to the customer of their work and the risks in the project - their Rep could successfully sell.
They also volunteered that there was no regular Sales Training for their Reps, which said to me, “Someone’s gotten comfortable with company performance…!”
Their reasoning for no Sales Training, that I took away, “We try to hire experienced Reps, Sales Training takes time away from selling, and that’s not who our V.P. of Sales is.”
They also shared that revenues were almost flat compared to last year, but bottom-line profitability was still decent. (As we reflected on those comments, we privately were troubled with “almost flat revenues” – given material and labor cost increases that had been incurred.)
Again, “Someone’s possibly gotten comfortable with performance…!”
In a previous life, I faced some tough conditions. And… I had an advantage. I understood that people like to share their achievements with their peers…and almost everyone has a top performance or could have a top performance – on occasion. So every two weeks, the two Reps who sold (a) the highest total value-added job, and (b) the highest percentage value-added job – in our Sales Education Meeting – told how they did it, what risks they overcame, what ideas they used, and how they used communications and strategy – to get top value-added dollars for the company…..What wasn’t recognized at first, is that we were slowly, incrementally, surely – raising the competence, expected performance standards, and results – of our five Sales Reps….!
I never considered those Sales Training discussions a waste of time, and neither did they!
As fate would have it, this week I was introduced, through thoughtfulness of Dick Vann, founder of PostMark (a top-performing Mailing/Print supplier in Winston Salem) to an experienced Trainer, who specializes in “Training Sales Reps How Not to Give Away Pricing to Shark-like Buyers” - and win the pricing their company deserves…!
We’ve had multiple discussions, and I have no economic interest in your getting on his schedule.
Trainer Contact Info:
Jason Levinson Creative, Inc.
Email: [email protected]
Our industry needs better margins – that do not abuse customer relationships. Hopefully, you’ve also known a few Reps - whose major Buyers wanted to pay their requested prices, as well as provide multiple Referrals – long-term.
“Everybody pities the weak. …Jealousy you have to earn.”…….Arnold Schwarzenegger