My friend Bill Tucker, President of the Florida Building Material Association, recently wrote in his associations publication (e-BLUEPRINT):
The members of one of our business round tables were discussing how to increase sales, when one of them commented on the need for training. Without thinking, I quickly reminded him that during the construction boom, few members attended the numerous sales courses offered by FBMA.
That's the way it is; when shooting fish in a barrel, you don't need to learn how to aim.How many salespeople are sitting around waiting for someone to call? How many are still hawking the same old products with the same old lines? How many are looking to the same, rather than developing new customers? How many believe they don't need sales training?
Whenever I am asked, "When do sales professionals no longer need sales training?" I reply, "When they quit breathing!"Because no matter how good you were at selling and marketing yesterday or how good your are today, there will always be competitors and economic changes that come along that you must react to, to stay where you are in your success. Those who are prepared do not react to changing times and conditions, they 'ACT' before the changes adversely affect them.
It is human nature, and sales professionals are no different, to take the easy way out. To become lackadaisical. Selling when times are good we do not have to have as sharp an aim, it is just like shooting fish in a barrel.
We do not have to be sharp when the customers are calling and all we have to do is fill out the order forms.
But for many industries that time is over, at least for the foreseeable future. Sales professionals need to sharpen their old skills and yes, learn a few new ones to sharpen their aim to stay at the top of their profession. For some, as you see them falling by the wayside, it is already too late. For most it is not.
It is not too late if they make the commitment to rededicate themselves, and rededicate their business to the art of selling and marketing. Start refreshing, learning and re-learning selling and marketing skills and techniques and you will become the sales professional and business that is able to 'ACT'not 'react' to the changes in your market.
I once heard that the great football coach Paul 'Bear' Bryant when asked how he turned a losing football team into a winner replied, "I thought to myself, someone has got to do something about our poor performance. Then I remembered - I was someone."
If you are 'the someone' in your organization, the someone who needs to and can do something about it, it is time to:
- Become more aggressive in marketing and selling
- Create and use a sales marketing plan
- Determine who your best prospects are
- Learn and use selling skills and techniques that attract customers to you
Dare to market and sell differently than you did when you could shoot fish in a barrel
It is time to learn (re-learn) the selling and marketing skills and techniques it takes to gain and retain your most profitable customers. We are no longer shooting fish in a barrel.