Sales Best Practices: Keeps track of all the names, titles, and positions of all the key contact people within every account.
This is so basic, you would think everyone would be doing it. Not so.
I was sitting across the desk from the operations manager of the company for which I had worked a number of years earlier. We were reminiscing, and he told me this story.
In the time after I had left this company, it had been swallowed up by a large national company. Now, at number two in the nation, it was again being merged with number three. The government got involved, and mandated that every salesperson fill out a form for every account doing over $100,000 in annual business.
The operations manager described how he looked over the forms as he assembled them to send back to the government. As he did so, he got a sick feeling in his stomach. It seems that on many of the forms, the names listed were nicknames, and there was no title indicated.
He told me that he realized that his salespeople didn’t know the full name and correct title of the key contact people in their largest accounts!
While that may sound like an exception to you, I have since discovered that it is the rule, not the exception. The sad truth is that few salespeople have systematically collected and stored the full names and accurate titles of their key contact people. As a result, their proposals and correspondence are amateurish and they look unprofessional to their customers.
Such a simple little thing!
Yet, over and over again, it’s not the big things that separate the Top Gun performers from the pack. It’s the methodical, disciplined adherence to excellence in the little things.
I know there are thousands of salespeople who are reading this right now, thinking “I already know that.” Yet, most of them aren’t methodical and systematic in their execution of this practice. It’s not what you know that makes you into a Top Gun performer, it is what you do.
That’s why the best practices are called “practices.”
About the author: Dave Kahle is one of the world’s leading sales training educators. Since 1988, Dave has worked with over 400 companies, helping them to increase their sales and develop their sales people. He’s been published over 1,000 times, writes a weekly Ezine (subscribe for free at http://www.davekahle.com/mailinglist.htm), and has authored seven books. Dave’s website is available at http://www.davekahle.com, and you can follow his sales blog at http://www.davekahle.com/salesblog.
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