During my 25-year sales career, I cold called like crazy, set appointments and made presentations day after day. It was a constant struggle to sustain business growth as it ebbed and flowed in spite of continuous and mighty selling efforts.
There was one senior guy on the team named Richard who had all the giant accounts and he just sat there on the phone discussing closed business deals with clients. His cup runneth over!
The real kicker about Richard was that despite his already abundant sales success, most of the incoming new business inquiries would ask for Richard, and it drove me nuts! He never cold called and he never had to bang the phone for appointments like the rest of us. The most profitable business just flowed directly to Richard. What did he have that the rest of us didn’t?
Over time, it became clear why Richard excelled. He understood quality and never cut corners. While I was trying to figure out ways to lower costs or match competitive price quotes, Richard was increasing the prices his clients would pay while at the same time adding value to the total package.
The primary value that Richard added was quality-assurance. Richard’s clients knew that if they worked with him, they would get the best quality products or properties available for their specific needs. No shortcuts, no surprises; just predictable high quality at a fair, negotiated price.
Give back… to your competition!
True, there are lots of hyper frugal bargain hunters out there but thankfully, there are also plenty of good people in the business world who understand what things cost; that “you get what you pay for.” Those were Richard’s people! When other people like them heard of Richard’s business approach they called him, who else? If Richard sensed cheapness, he cheerfully and wisely declined the business.
Be the person you would call.
The lesson here is that if you’re looking for more qualified sales leads, try focusing less on sales promotions and more on delivering premium quality to all your clients every single time you do business. Quality reputations can only be earned. If you’ve earned yours, go ahead and promote it in media because if it rings true, the market will validate it and your phone will ring more.
Chuck Sink is CEO of Chuck Sink Link, Contoocook, N.H.