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Things are changing. So fast, they’re staying put, at least for the most part. It usually brings a smile to my face when they phrase “We’re doing well. Things could be better, but compared with (fill in competitor) we’re actually doing fine/well“, is muttered for two reasons. First, it’s part of our selection process and second, it’s part of the business’ selection process. “No, we’re not changing” is a great response, even though most can’t get it out of their mouths.
Recently one of our clients called to advise us that they were being pushed be their OEM to do some print advertising, their first in nearly two years. So they advised us that they’ll do it for two months, just to get the heat of their back. That made me think about what business owners and senior management do to simply make their business partners happy, or trying to make competitors worried, or to make a statement as well as a list of other, mostly ego-driven or self-centered, reasons.
Many businesses today are out of touch with their customers even though consumer sentiment and feedback is so readily available today, to the point of nausea. And we don’t ask. Heck, we can’t even get accurate sourcing at the point of sale today as “the fastest way around the system” is what most of those in sales will do because “I just want to sell a (fill in the blank) now”.
Logic tells us if something is easy enough, we should just do it! Logic also tells us most people won’t opt to do things that are deemed difficult so the few that do that harder work reap the greatest benefit. Most things that can increase results relatively quickly, given the proper attention, will absolutely give an unprecedented advantage. Yet most fall short. Well short.
Take, for example, call tracking. Why would you want to use your cell, at your desk, when you can kill two birds with one stone on the business’ land line (unless you have a more advanced CRM that can append a cell call to a customer record)? Convenience is not a reason, that’s called an excuse. Sure, there are reasons to have your land line forwarded to your cell, however it makes sense to get the most out of each contact, being somewhere you can easily take notes and/or check something online and more, simply by making/taking the call at your desk on a tracked phone. (Using this example due to the fact that for most car dealerships this is a huge pain point in accountability and tracking.)
Do we really think the top producing salesperson will drop 20-70% of their sales when pressed to follow a process versus letting them “do it their way” since nobody wants to “rock the boat”? That’s not likely to happen and, better yet, it’s more likely to provide a boost in production.
More than ever we need to stretch the rubber band if we expect to succeed, not just get along. There are so many simple things that we can get done offering huge benefits in return. They may not always be easy, but they are worth it. The salesperson chatting on the front line may just be able to reach five more people today on the phone. But it won’t happen..
Because if it were really that simple, it just won’t get done. That, ladies and gentlemen, is a big issue.
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