“Someday the ethics of a sales business will be universally recognised, and at that time the business of sales will be seen as the oldest and most useful of all professions.” — Henry Ford
Tom Watson, Sr., the founder of IBM, said that to be great, a business needs a ‘religion’ — a credo.
My head Sales Coach for many years, Robert E. Johnson, used to say that your credo is an “expression of your most strongly held core values and serves as a beacon to attract the like-minded faithful of your market place”. Your values are the set of beliefs and principles that guide your company’s actions and activities.
A value is a belief, a mission, or a philosophy that is meaningful. We all have a core set of values. A value could be as simple as a belief in hard work and punctuality, or more psychological such as self-reliance, concern for others, harmony, balance and purpose.
A key point to keep in mind about values is that implementing them energises everything concerned with them. For an individual, committing to values and applying them releases fresh energy, which always attracts success, achievement and well- being.
Likewise when businesses adopt values, individuals working within the business become energised, so do its customers, its products and services, and everyone and everything else associated with that organisation.
Once we have an agreed set of values we can then develop strategies to implement them and hence we begin our foundation.
Our values are our foundation; without values it is impossible to define ourselves and present ourselves and our businesses to the community in a way that makes people want to do business with us over and over again.
You’ll find when you clearly stand for something, you will never stand alone. Indeed, standing for something special in your overcrowded marketplace sets you apart from armies of ‘me-too’ competitors who try to be everything to everybody, and wind up meaning nothing special to anyone.
I’ve always seen myself as a Rainmaker — a person who seems to have a talent for generating business when others — in the same business — seem to struggle. Perhaps that’s why I am and have always been a ‘rainmaker’ — because I SEE myself as one.
Like the late and great Wayne Dyer use to say “believe it — then you will see it.”
Robert (Bob) Johnson had a few strong opinions and a few rules, which he encouraged me to adopt and also develop my own.
Here is my credo — this is what I believe:
Sell with integrity and always do the right thing by customers.
Consequently we encourage others to do the right, honest and ethical thing. It’s a fact of life that trust has a positive or negative affect on two of businesses most important dimensions; Speed and Cost.
When trust is high, everything moves more quickly and costs are reduced; conversely when trust is low, everything slows down and costs escalate.
A great story I love to share is the one about the coffee and doughnut vendor who despite having the ‘best coffee and doughnuts in town’ and doing very well began to notice that his customers weren’t waiting around to be served -he was taking too long to get to them.
A quick analysis of his processes revealed that the ‘hold-up’ was his inability to dispense ‘change’ for the coffee quickly enough. He decided to introduce the real concept of ‘trust’ and opened his till! In other words he decided to allow patrons to pay and collect their own change while he just got on with serving coffee and doughnuts.
You can guess what happened. Because trust was high, speed went up and costs came down. His turnover increased and in fact because he showed so much trust, his ‘tips’ became a significant portion of his revenue.
Respect the customer and treat them with the same personal and professional consideration you expect for yourself. We should cherish our customers at all times and treat them like our best friends. Remember ‘the Golden Rule of Business’…treat people the way you like to be treated.
For example, do you like to be overcharged, underserved, put on endless hold, overbooked, told the room isn’t ready, falsely promised, shipped late, ignored, and not thanked?
Always put yourself in the shoes of the customer. Answer the question, ‘what would I want if I were the customer?’ The answer is what you should strive to provide. This is important when dealing with the upset customer. When you are the upset customer, you want a full, uninterrupted hearing, you want to deal with someone with the authority to fix the problem, and you want a fair resolution. You don’t want to be sent a copy of the company’s warranty policy.
Remember, good customers are demanding. They may expect more from you than you believe is appropriate. What you want or how you want to be treated may not be good enough to satisfy your customer, but it’s a good starting place. Deliver the promise and you’ll bring the rain.
Contrary to ‘traditional’ training — the customer is not always right — but it doesn’t matter. They’re still your customer and your job is to do what it takes, providing it’s ethical, moral and legal, to keep them as a customer.
Balance your time for both business and personal success.
Business is there to give us a life, not to consume it. This means we should be allocating time and energy to the other areas of our life, for example: our health, our relationships — family and friends, our own personal development and growth as well how we want to spend our leisure and ‘free’ time.
Never give up!.
We must listen to our customers and decipher their wants and needs. We must adopt a ‘can do’ attitude and be positive, upbeat and focused. Adopt a winning attitude. ( Winners never quit and quitters never win)
Open two-way communication.
Share information, ask questions, listen effectively, speak thoughtfully, and let ideas live. Make your product the way customers want it and get your product to your customers when they want it. Remember, a sale is nothing more than a ‘promise to deliver.’ Deliver what you promise!
Create a learning and ‘coaching’ environment.
Learn from each other. Teach, coach, and listen. Create an environment where everyone can be a ‘star.’
In an organization that has a ‘winning sales culture’ we value different viewpoints. We also work together to achieve the agreed sales and marketing plans. Together, Everyone Achieves More and sometimes — Miracles (TEAM)
It’s no longer a matter of ‘big beating small…it’s now a matter of the fast beating the slow!’ Change — Accept it. Embrace it. Initiate it. Do everything better faster and cheaper. Give your customers a little extra, more than they expect. Do all you can do … and then some!
Take the initiative and always be looking for opportunities. Use good judgment. Take intelligent risks. Champion ideas. Thank each customer sincerely and often and remind them of the ‘dollarised’ value they’ve received. Customers want to feel confident they are getting value for money.
Know your responsibilities. Live up to your commitments. Make your word your bond so that your customers can trust you. People buy trust and service and the good feelings that come with owning your product, using your product and benefiting from it.
Your ‘winning sales credo’ is the blueprint for all staff to ‘make rain’ for the business.
Good Luck and (always) Good Selling