It’s Only Common Sense: It Never Hurts to Ask for Help
When you just can’t make any headway with a customer, have exhausted all your own resources and ideas, and don’t feel that you have another move left in you, it’s time to call for help. Time to send the flares up and signal SOS.
It’s Only Common Sense: Doing Whatever It Takes to Succeed
Sometimes your back is against the wall, and for whatever reason, you just have to win this business. You do all you can, pull out all the stops, eat your pride, and remain laser-focused. Sometimes, when failure is not an option, you dig deep and do whatever it takes to succeed. We’ve all faced this situation at one time or another. I once was forced and under pressure to do whatever I could to win a contract. In my case, the future of the company and all 100 people who worked there was at stake.
It’s Only Common Sense: Are You Selling What Your Customers Want?
Our customers will buy what they want, not what we want to sell. That’s kind of a pain, isn’t it? No matter how great our product is, how compelling our sales pitch, or how absolutely convinced we are about the product, if they don’t want it, they won’t buy it. So many of us spend too much time trying to convince our customers to buy what we’re selling and not enough time listening to what they want. We all do it. It’s a bad habit we need to break.
It’s Only Common Sense: Great Salespeople Never Quit
If you are in sales and don’t treat your job with intensity, passion, and seriousness, you’ll never succeed. This is how you make your living, after all, and in some ways, it is what defines at least one facet of who you are. You owe it to your company to give 100% and you owe it to yourself to give 150%; it takes great effort to be great. Here are some of the things I say when I am coaching a salesperson who is looking to get out of a rut of their own making.
It’s Only Common Sense: Five Tips to Kick Start Your Sales
Are you stuck in those sales doldrums, the bane of even the best salespeople? Everything has come to a standstill, you’re not even hearing from your good customers nor getting answers on quotes that looked so promising and imminent just last week. You’re sitting there wondering, “What’s next? How will I get out of this rut?” Now what? What will you do next? How will you kick start your day and get out of this rut? No worries. Here are five things you can do today to get things moving again.
It's Only Common Sense: We Are the Alchemists
I recently talked to a board shop owner who entertained a customer visit from a large military OEM. In the group were four young engineers who had never been in a PCB shop before. As they toured the facility, they were actually stunned at the amount of equipment, people, and process steps it takes to build a printed circuit. I'm tired of PCB fabricators taking a back seat in the supply chain. As the true "makers," it's time we stood up and let our voice be heard.
It’s Only Common Sense: Solving Your Talent Problem
Some of you will not like this column, but it needs to be said. With all due respect, listen up, and read this with an open mind. I’ve been talking to company owners over the past six months, and they all say essentially the same thing: “People just don’t want to work anymore.” The reasons for this vary. Workers are spoiled and lazy because “the government gave them too much money,” or “their generation was raised badly,” or “they’re spoiled and expect too much.”
It’s Only Common Sense: Want to Be a Better Listener? Try These 5 Tips
Every now and then I feel the urge to write about the great art of not just hearing, but true and active listening. About once a year, I feel like it needs to be brought up and discussed—maybe for your benefit or mine. This is one of those things that I need to work on. I often get so enthusiastic when talking to someone that I end up talking too much, or interrupting the speaker, or talking over them. This is my problem. It’s a case of “teacher teach thyself.” But especially as I attend both virtual and live meetings, I am reminded repeatedly of the importance—and skill—of listening.
It’s Only Common Sense: Short Circuiting the Excuse Cycle
Sales managers, have you ever heard one of your salespeople say something like: “If we only had (whatever it is your company doesn’t have), I could double my forecast?” How about, “If we only had the spec or qualification, we could double our sales? Everyone is asking for it now.” Or maybe, “Once we have that new laser drill, I am going to bring in a ton of business.” These “what if” scenarios sound promising, but let’s be honest, these are excuses.
It’s Only Common Sense: Don’t Stop Your Marketing—Ever
Marketing works. Even when you think it doesn’t. So, if you’ve been to a trade show recently (and if you haven’t, it’s time to start booking the next event), don’t let your marketing stop now that you’ve boarded a plane and come home. When a companry, maybe the first time, really starts thinking about their customers, then it's time to put together a marketing plan. You bring the customer to the table, and you start considering the following questions.