Sales Lessons From the Election

Written by Steve Waterhouse

Some problems must be solved early by Steve Waterhouse

We are watching a very fundamental sales management problem played out inrepparttar Florida elections (this is not political!). It's called BLAME and it can destroy our sales organization from within.

When we affixrepparttar 139438 blame, we immediately stoprepparttar 139439 progress. We can often look at our job descriptions to seerepparttar 139440 problem. In an election,repparttar 139441 job ofrepparttar 139442 elections supervisor is to observerepparttar 139443 rules and protectrepparttar 139444 rule of law. As a result, when they find tens of thousands of bad ballots, they don't see it as a problem. In fact, they see it as a success. Their job was to set aside bad ballots. It says so in their job description! As a result, finding bad ballots equals doing their job.

But what ifrepparttar 139445 job description was changed. What if their job was to ensure thatrepparttar 139446 elections accurately reflectedrepparttar 139447 will ofrepparttar 139448 voters? In that case, bad ballots would be seen as a bad situation and any system that created too many bad ballots would immediately be fixed. In that case, Palm Beach County would have replaced their voting system four years ago when 14,000 bad ballots were discovered.

Look at some ofrepparttar 139449 metrics we use inrepparttar 139450 job descriptions for our sales staffs. They can include making more calls, sending out more literature, giving more product presentations, submitting more proposals and even updatingrepparttar 139451 mailing list. Unfortunately, all of these can be successfully accomplished without ever getting to a single sale. Sales people can point torepparttar 139452 required task list and justify a very busy day with very little progress. They can blame everyone except themselves.

Fire Bad Clients?

Written by Steve Waterhouse

Do you know what makes a good customer for your company? I'll bet you do. You know whether your company is better withrepparttar Fortune 500 orrepparttar 139437 Inc. 500. You know what product lines your operations service best and whererepparttar 139438 quality isrepparttar 139439 highest. You know what industries are willing to pay a premium for your level of customer care. You probably even know which customers are likely to have a long and profitable relationship with you and which are just looking forrepparttar 139440 lowest bidder for this quarter's supplies.

Onrepparttar 139441 other hand, you know how to identify bad customers, too. The poor fits,repparttar 139442 bad credit risks, andrepparttar 139443 demanding QA departments. The ones that ask for expensive prototypes with little probability of a significant purchase. Unfortunately, we book these either because they are easy sales or because we don't have enough good business ready to close. As a result, we waste valuable personal time and company resources on clients that will never show a significant return onrepparttar 139444 investment.

Open up your Daytimer? right now and identify three clients that you know, in your heart of hearts, are bad fits for your company. Take this list to your sales manager and operations director and see if they agree. Now comesrepparttar 139445 hard part. Firerepparttar 139446 bad clients!

I was facilitating a discussion at one of my clients last week when this very issue came up. It became clear that too many scarce engineering resources were being spent on projects that would never pay backrepparttar 139447 investment. As we outlined a typical 'bad client',repparttar 139448 room erupted in a chorus of "I know which client that is!" We all agreed that this project had to be ended forrepparttar 139449 good ofrepparttar 139450 company and, in fact, forrepparttar 139451 good ofrepparttar 139452 client who would eventually be under-served. I asked, "Who's going to callrepparttar 139453 client and tell themrepparttar 139454 bad news?" Without hesitationrepparttar 139455 most senior representative inrepparttar 139456 room raised his hand. Without one complaint Isaac said, "It's my client. I'll call them."

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