Finally, and at long last, we are entering a time of high growth. This information comes not just from anecdotal reports from distributors across the country but also from some pretty respected economists. While speaking to the National Association of Wholesale/Distributors Executive Summit, economist Alan Beaulieu of ITR Economics confirmed much of what distributors were noticing in their local territories: business is expanding.
It can take up to 20 years to build a quality brand name, but just a handful of bad experiences can destroy it. The great entrepreneurs of our time believed this to be true. Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerburg and Keith Merrill all bought into the concept that having a superior innovative product was not enough.
There is nothing new about distributor compensation issues. As far back as the 1960s, wholesalers have been concerned about innovative approaches to motivating salespeople. The environment back then was different; warehouses were smaller, inside sales were untrained, and phone systems were inefficient.
Good time management for salespeople has been an obsession of mine for more than 30 years. In the last decade, I’ve helped tens of thousands of salespeople improve their results through more effective use of their time. Over the years, I’ve seen some regularly occurring patterns develop – tendencies on the part of salespeople to do things that detract from their effective use of time.
I think the best place to start with this topic is to ask: What are the goals for your sales team? It is hard to manage folks without everyone being on the same page and knowing what you expect from them. I am guessing that your goals are to grow sales and profits as much as possible by providing value to your customers. I would think that is the universal goal for almost anyone hiring a sales staff.
I recently had the opportunity to present “PR University: Building Your Business with Public Relations” to the HARDI Sales and Marketing Conference in San Diego. I was impressed with the audience’s interest, engagement and enthusiasm for the topic. And there’s a good reason for that. Because your industry, like others, is changing in significant ways, and PR can significantly help grow and protect your business.
Clichés are nothing more than overused and abused catchphrases that demonstrate your inability to contribute an original thought to the discussion, and few things drive me to drink like someone who speaks in clichés. To avoid having “air in the conversation,” you inexplicably present commonly used jargon without thought or remorse while ignoring the fact that your audience is looking at you the way a dog looks at a ceiling fan (visualize a blank stare up with drool coming from the corner of your mouth).