OK, it’s October 2017 and I have decided to rework this blog.
Who am I? Well that would be telling – and what’s the point of a secret if everyone knows it?
More importantly why am I doing this? I’m doing this because I have something completely unique to share with you – a working lifetime in Sales. A lot of people will tell you ancient stories about how they have been there and done it. Most of what they talk about is stolen experience from someone else. The difference is, I really HAVE been there and done it. And I am still doing it now. I also have the scars (both physical and mental) to prove it. I have:
- Cold called, and knocked doors house to house
- Sold perfume, alarm systems, clothes, ladies tights and stockings (yeah, I know)
- Worked on the phones as an office sales junior, in a time when the fax machine was still a wonder of the modern office world
- Sold cars, car spares, bearings and all kinds of industrial equipment to everything from mines to sewage processing plants
- Worked in energy, aerospace, transportation and just about every other sector you can imagine
From junior office telephone sales through to being a CEO, and all that good stuff in between, I have sold to everyone – from the Great British public, to some of the biggest multi-national companies in the world.
Through all that time I have always excelled in one area: Customer Service. Giving the customer that extra value. Don’t mistake that for extra discount, or leaving cash on the table. If the customer wants it and I can provide, then that is what I have always done. It is something I encourage my team to do too, because …
Sales is an Art Form
And like every art form, not everyone gets it. If you do, then The Secret Sales Director is for you. In a world where cheap has become king I have always encouraged a more entrepreneurial approach to getting the order, and keeping the order value as high as possible. I hate saying we cannot do something – so we find a way to make it happen, without dropping too much of the price, and definitely without dropping our standards.
So, back to why am I doing this? I’m doing it because I feel it’s an excellent time to out 2 things:
- Bad customer service
- Bad sales strategy
I also think it’s important to out those people (who exist within every company) who struggle to understand why more work through the door might actually be a really good thing. They are what I refer to as “The Sales Prevention Officers”. We all have them, and I will go on at length about them in other upcoming posts.
Then there are the self-interested egotistical bunch, who feel a company only exists for and because of them. Let’s call them “The Sams”.
No offence to anyone actually called Sam, it’s just the first gender-neutral name that came into my head, because “The Sams” come in all ages, shapes and sizes. “The Sams” believe the company exists for their own personal benefit. Customers only come because of them, and if/when they leave (which “The Sams” of this world never do by the way), then the whole company will come crashing down without them.
It’s a bit of a stream of consciousness … I know a lot of these posts may only ever be read by me. What I hope though, is that professional Sales people like you will find something of interest. I hope you will share your stores, talk about your experiences, and that together we can prove there is a better way to do this marvellous thing called Sales.
I don’t want to “out” people by particular name (so please bear that in mind when you Comment), and I don’t want to trash reputations (well I do but lawyers are such an expensive side effect).
Some companies are just bloody awful when it comes to serving their customers. Let’s showcase that and learn from it. I also want to showcase the classic failures within modern corporate culture that prevent us being honest with our colleagues and customers, hence crushing any chance of having a fulfilling relationship with colleagues, clients, and your career, before you have even started.
In conclusion, I’m writing this blog because this is the job I do, day in and day out. I’ve got the real world experience of Sales and Customer Service – and I hope that by sharing it, I can help you on your way to a more fulfilling and successful Sales career.
Thank you for reading, and welcome to The Secret Sales Director.