February 16, 2021

All We Need Now Are Sales

By Paul Daniels

The meeting I was in last week ended with the statement, “All we need now are sales.” Sounds easy, but there is a lot more to look at. Since I started in sales, I have always looked at my sales goals as having three parts: my dollar goals, the company’s profit goals and my expense goals. As I got into management, I realized how important these are. It makes no sense to reach your personal sales goal by discounting if the company is not making a profit on the sale. Often, discounting the price to try to keep your company busy or maintain market share hinders your ability to maintain the service level your customers are accustomed to.

It is important that the whole sales team understands that their job is more than just hitting a dollar goal. They not only need to sell a product or service but to build value so they can sell at a profit margin that will help them and the company grow in the future. In the COVID economy, it is important to understand what is important to your customers. Flexibility, lead times, technical support or alternative products all can make or break a sale.

Too many times I have heard salespeople complain that they would have landed that project if they had a better price. They need to know that their job is to sell the benefits their company offers to their customers, justifying the price they have quoted.

Expenses are another issue. I never wanted to be the salesperson that had the highest expense account for the month and always felt that the more economically I could run my territory the more valuable I would be to the company. Most customers appreciate a lunch or dinner to thank them for the business they have done with you. It’s always tricky to try to use gifts or outings to entice customers to give you future orders. Most people are going to buy from companies based on their value in today’s economy. Until we get past this pandemic, getting back to basics will go a long way. Salespeople who stay in communication with their customers and add value to their products and companies will always have a future.