By Lindy Earl
Anybody who speaks to clients needs to be trained and treated as a Sales Rep. I have seen so many clients walk away from a phone call, determined to never do business with a company after a very short conversation with a receptionist or whomever answered the phone. That’s not good.
I can’t even begin to imagine how many clients were never brought in because they spoke with someone, maybe at their childrens’ events or a business meeting, because the person they met didn’t even consider selling the company.
I have a history of being treated as a sales rep, from when I was 12. I came home from school and announced that our neighbor was moving. My mother, a real estate agent, asked me who listed their house. I didn’t know. I was 12! My mother made it clear that it was my job to help her in her career by recommending her when I learned someone was moving. In fact, our neighbor didn’t move so there was no listing for my mom to get in that case.
Ten years later, I called an Insurance Agency I walked past daily on my way home from work. I took the number from their window and called. I spoke with a receptionist and was told I would have to call back later. I told the girl she had cost her boss a client, and she honestly did not care. We obviously didn’t have the same mother.
Which story is more common? Probably the second. Receptionists, engineers, accountants, and more employees do not see themselves Sales Reps within the company. There are Sales Reps who are hired and paid to sell products and services, so it’s not in other job descriptions.
I believe being a Sales Rep should be included in every employee’s job description. Last (yes, I’m backwards here), it’s for the best of the company. When the company stays financially healthy, jobs are safe. Next, you could find great talent among your employees that had been untapped. First, it’s in the employee’s best interest. The obvious reason is that the company will do well and the employee will continue to have a job. In addition, every company should implement some basic measures to include every employee in the Sales pool.
First, business cards. Whether the employee is the receptionist, administrative assistant, designer, engineer, attorney, architect, or a zoologist, the company should purchase business cards for them and encourage them to be used in social as well as professional situations. It will make the employee feel like part of the team. What you choose to put on the cards is entirely up to you. You can put more than one thing. For instance, the card could read, Botanist and Team Player. That Team Player line could get some attention, and it would offer up the opportunity for the employee to say that in their wonderful company, everybody is given an opportunity to introduce new clients to see if there’s a possibility for a working relationship. Be creative.
Second, training. Every employee should have a good idea of what the company does, who the target market is, who the competition is, and the key players in the company. The employees won’t actually be making the sales calls, just introducing new clients and passing them along to the appropriate people.
Remuneration should be verbal, physical, and financial. When an employee introduces a new client, they should immediately be thanked and congratulated publicly. This should result in the person feeling good and appreciated, thus wanting to do more of the same; and it should encourage others in the company to do the same. Humans are a competitive race. The physical remuneration should be in the form of a nice working environment. Give everybody their own work space with freedom to make it their own, allowing space for awards, even handmade company awards. Financial incentives can be held until a client is actually a paying customer, but giving a residual, bonus, or perk such as half a day off or extended lunch hours should be given, to show the company’s appreciation.
Extremely important is training. We can’t expect everyone to understand the Sales Process, and bringing in a Trainer or Motivational Speaker, or paying for Seminars and classes at a local school should be available to everyone in the company.
Where might your employees find potential clients? One, on the phone – every incoming phone call at work is a potential client. At church, social events, their kids’ schools and activities. Ten people can meet far more people than you alone. Use the opportunity they provide. This is why you need them on your side! They can bring in clients.
The point is to make every employee of part of your team. Wouldn’t you rather have your employees work with you than for you? A good businessman sees the difference immediately. You can foster a good relationship with your employees by knowing and using their names, asking them about their families, being concerned if they have a serious problem that could affect their career (I’m talking a child with a serious illness, not a child’s dentist appointment).
Owners, CEOs, Presidents, Managers, and Supervisors have huge influence over the success of their companies. Success is out there for everyone. Get your people on your team, and make everyone a Sales Rep for the success of everyone.
Lindy Earl is a Business Consultant, Speaker, Trainer, and Author. Working from Atlanta, GA, she is available as an in-house consultant to ensure your company is working at maximum capacity. Contact Lindy today to learn how to be more successful immediately at LMEarl@EarlMarketing.com.