Archive for the ‘Joe G Profit’ Category

Q: I’m doing a thorough examination of my customer base in anticipation for 2011. One thing I found is, sales with my best customers have leveled off in the last year, while I’ve been getting a slight bump from a few smaller players. Who would you spend more time with in 2011?

Nate — Seattle, Wash. 

A: Depends on your definition of “best.” By best, do you mean those who currently spend the most with you? Michael Shrage wrote in a blog for the Harvard Business Review that perhaps those folks aren’t your best customers after all. He explained it to a CTO of a global software company who was getting nowhere with collaborating with his biggest customers.

 

“I’m sorry,” I replied, “but your company must first accept that these are not your best customers. They may be your biggest customers or your most profitable customers or your most demanding customers. But any customer that won’t collaborate or innovate with you can’t be your best. Those firms may even be your most dangerous customers because they treat you more like low-cost vendors than partners in design and development.”

“So how do we get them to see us as innovation partners?” he asked.

“Unfortunately, that’s the wrong question,” I replied. “Ask, instead, what makes you the best innovation partners they could possibly have in this product category? They know you’re a terrific vendor. But could they name two things you’ve done in the last six months that would make them believe you could help them innovate significantly better? Why do they refuse your offers to innovate?”

The CTO grimaced when he heard that. Did you?

Sales blogs and columns harp on reps not to be order-takers, but have you considered the dynamic holds true with customers? Sure, you’ll get your disposables and other essentials covered from the order-makers, but which of your customers truly buys into you as a source for them to increase revenue? That’s a good place to start when considering your “best” customers; they’ll probably be around the longest and turn to you in time of need.

Q: Are you a PowerPoint kind of rep?

Andy – Issaquah, Wash.

A: PowerPoints are part of a sales rep’s repertoire, but like everything, it’s the implementation that’s key. There’s a right way and wrong way to do it. The length of your presentation should be considered, as well as how much text vs. visuals you put in there.

Want some advice? Don’t be a bullet-reader. Researches at University of NSW in Australia concluded in a study that the human brain processes and retains more information if it is digested in either its verbal or written form, but not both at the same time. John Sweller, from the university’s faculty of education, said the use of PowePoint’s been a disaster, in so much as presenters’ tendencies to read what’s already on the screen.

“It is effective to speak to a diagram, because it presents information in a different form. But it is not effective to speak the same words that are written, because it is putting too much load on the mind and decreases your ability to understand what is being presented.”

A link to the full article is here.

And this concept is perfectly illustrated in the first few seconds of this guy’s stand-up routine.

That’s not to say you should load up on graphs and visuals and nothing else. It’s just … don’t go point by point through those bullets. And always leave time for questions . Be more concerned about the flow of your presentation. Aim for it to produce dialogue between you and your customer, not glazed eyes and a snore from the guy in the corner of the board room.

Joe G. Profit’s got something to say about capital equipment…

Q: I want to land some equipment orders before the year is out. Tell me how.

— Will B., Birmingham, Ala.

A: Well, you picked the perfect time. The fourth quarter is typically when you’ll pick up equipment orders.

1)      Have you been paying attention to your customers? Meaning, have you spotted a practice that is in desperate need of, say, casework? Think from their perspective – why would they want to invest in new casework? It’s going to cost them something, so what do they get out of it in return? Does it improve workflow efficiency, storage? How many minutes can you shave off a patient visit by having the right instruments and medicine in the right place at the right time? Read the rest of this entry »

His name? Joe G. Profit. His mission? To take on all questions you have as a sales rep. His experience? Let’s just say that he’s the kind of rep who gets Salesperson of the Year in one month. He’s the type of rep who CAN believe it’s not butter, who knows where’s the beef and can count to infinity a few times if he so feels inclined. He doesn’t need an appointment to close a sale – he DECIDES when to close it. Submit your questions and Joe G. will answer each week on Repertoire’ blog. But beware – his answers may change your life.

Two Left Shoes

Q: So I show up all prepared to do a follow-up on a previous order/delivery and inquire about any items on a new order and … the delivery hadn’t been made. Awkward, right? How do you get around that? Read the rest of this entry »

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