In previous blogs we have discussed that everyone occasionally steps into the role of sales person, be it in actual business, or their personal life. Even in a non-sales environment, it is a good business practice to surround yourself and fill your business with sales-oriented people. Most sales people are determined and goal-oriented by nature. I came across an interesting article on Forbes.com titled 5 Offbeat Ways to Find Great Sales Reps. What these five ways boiled down to was looking for great sales people everywhere.
“I’ll Take It! – and You” this suggestion hadn’t occurred to me before but made a lot of sense. This step encourages connecting with the people who earn your business. Did that car salesman make you feel comfortable? Maybe convince you to spend more than you had planned and somehow did such a good job of creating the need for the extra things that you aren’t feeling the usual buyer’s remorse? Then, maybe, that is the type of person you want on your team. Perhaps you have a place for them in your organization and they can use their talents to give your customers the same enjoyable experience they provided to you. I’m not suggesting going to your competitor’s parking lot to poach employees, but you never know when that business card you’re handing out is going into the wallet of your next top sales agent.
“Eat It Up.” This encouraged making connections with wait staff. It’s a sad fact that with the economic issues over the past decade a lot of educated and talented people have found themselves in jobs unrelated to their training, such as food service. The article points out that waiters and waitresses encounter all types of people within their industry. They practice sales technique by understanding the customers’ needs and appealing to them in order to obtain great tips. Most wait staff rely on their tips to support themselves not their hourly rate (In Texas the minimum wage is $2.13 for restaurant servers compared to the state’s standard $7.25 minimum for other job categories). Wait staff tend to have good people skills because of this. That friendly well-spoken waitress may have the talent to increase your company’s revenue.
The main reason this article really appealed to me is because while most sales trainings follow the same foundation, this helped me to consider that finding a sales person who is new to my industry gives them a clean palette. You may consider it more work to train someone from scratch. However you may want to keep this analogy in mind…., once you account for removing the old paint, it takes more work to repaint a painted wall then it does to start to paint a fresh blank one.