February '16

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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12 || P R I N T W E A R F E B R U A R Y 2 0 1 6 Jeffrey Gitomer is the author of The Sales Bible, Custom- er Satisfaction Is Worthless Customer Loyalty Is Priceless, The Little Red Book of Selling, The Little Red Book of Sales Answers, The Little Black Book of Connections, The Little Gold Book of YES! Attitude, The Little Green Book of Get - ting Your Way, The Little Platinum Book of Cha-Ching, The Little Teal Book of Trust, The Little Book of Leadership, and Social BOOM!. His website,, will lead you to more information about training and seminars, or email him personally at SELLING SMART B Y J E F F R E Y G I T O M E R A ll salespeople are given a plan, a quota, or some kind of "number" to achieve as a major part of their job require- ment. The keyword, however, is part. The plan or the quota is just a small part of the achievement process. How the company supports the salesperson and his or her sales ef- fort is another part, the major part. The tools, the training, and the encouragement to achieve will determine the salesperson's ultimate belief, effort, and outcome. (AKA: Results.) Sales leaders will always make value judgments on their salespeo- ple's ability to produce numbers, but rarely will they step up to bat and self-evaluate their own effort to support and encourage their salespeople. Leaders can be quick to judge the capability of salespeople strictly by the numbers. They get reports to keep accountability high. They get reports to check on activity. They get reports to check the num- bers. They get reports to check the reports. A classic example is if the number each salesperson is to achieve requires cold calling as a major part of the sales function, more than 50 percent will not make the grade. They will become discouraged by a 95 percent or more rejection rate, be unhappy, feel pressure, most likely lie on their sales report, and, ultimately, quit or get fired. In reality, most salespeople resent the fact that they are held ac- countable for certain numbers that don't have anything to do with ac- tually making sales. In addition, most salespeople resent the fact that their sales training is focused on the product rather than selling skills. An even bigger sales reality is the fact that sales is not numbers, it's a rhythm. Any kind of sales requires you to get into a rhythm, and that rhythm must be consistent. It's not the song, it's the backbeat. Backbeat provides the glue to music; bass and drums, not lead guitar or vocals. And a consistent beat, not a one-minute solo. In order for salespeople to feel in the groove and get the sales rhythm, there has to be leadership support, and there has to be lead- ership encouragement. Leadership must change the word accountability to the word re- sponsibility. The salesperson is responsible for himself or herself, re- sponsible for their outcomes, and responsible to the boss and the company for productivity. Once the salesperson becomes a responsible salesperson, they are automatically accountable to everyone without ever saying the word "accountable." But the boss and the company also have their own responsibility to support that salesperson 150 percent. SALES SUPPORT To help fully support their salespeople, sales leaders need to teach the following in order to make numbers happen without ever saying the word accountability: 1. Impeccable company, product, and service reputation. This is foundational and fundamental to a salesperson's belief sys- tem, and a prospective customer's belief system. Belief fuels enthusiasm. Note: Reputation arrives way before salespeople arrive. 2. Social media attraction. Active participation in social media is no longer an option; it's imperative. And active participa- tion, including one-on-one communications with custom- ers, creates attraction. Attraction is also known as leads. 3. On-demand, web-based sales and personal development train- ing. Salespeople need information and answers in order to make sales. The right training will both help the salesperson and Selling State of Mind Is it a sales plan or a state of mind that feels support? continued on page 111

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