Set Yourselves Apart

In April of this year amid all the recession talk I wrote an article on this blog entitled “Business is Always Good – For Hard Workers”. It was a good article and reflected what I know about troubled economic times having seen several since my first job in Material Handling in 1966.

I worried about the title. Not wanting to offend by implying that if your business was down it was because you were not working hard enough. I started to edit the title. But then I thought ….. in my career there have been a few that cared enough to say hard things to me. Things that were, at the time, difficult to hear. But over time have made all the difference.

I know many of you have challenged yourselves to excellence, or are being challenged by your company managers or company culture. I know this because, in the face of the current economic news, your business with us is good…..very, very good.

Crash Guard - Protective RailingIn light of run-away steel prices, increase transportation costs driven by four dollar gasoline and uncertainty many of you have redoubled your efforts and increased your reach. You have educated yourselves so that you are the expert that your customer desperately needs. It is up to you to guide them through the maze of products and processes to the “sweet spot” for their company. Many of you are embracing not only new tools but new ways of thinking. One area that always served me well as I made my way through my customer’s warehouse or manufacturing floor is to look for the seams. Seams are where one process butts up to another. A hand-off or transfer point. Many times the process is studied and improved and re-improved, but the seam is not addressed. This is a real opportunity for the alert and prepared salesperson. It is also much appreciated by the manager or owner. He or she worries about or thinks about their business all the time. After all it is their lively-hood and if you show concern and creativity you set yourselves apart. You put yourselves into the position of trusted advisor. That is a good place to be.

Keep up the good work, stay focused…work hard and play often. When you bog down, remember…Bluff is a partner with resources….

Comments

  1. Mark Underwood says:

    Ron,
    One other thing to keep in mind……
    With $4.00 / gallon gas, there is a natural tendency to cut back on sales calls and use e-mail or phones instead.
    Sometimes, however, there is no substitute for going the extra mile.

    I was in a customer’s office yesterday going over a high speed door quote. On his chalk board was written “62 trailer restraints”. When I asked him about it, he replied that he wanted a style that “my company does not carry.”
    Hhmm….. upon further review I informed him that not only do we carry that style, but ours even has a few enhancements that make it superior to the original.

    Don’t know how this one will end, but my chances are now just as good (maybe better!) than the other guy’s. And e-mail / phone would not have given me that opportunity.

    In looking over my three biggest sales so far for June, none of them closed without at least two sales calls devoted primarily to that particular sale. So…. your advice about staying focused / looking for seams…. ya, it’s very practical, very beneficial advice to live by right now.

    Mark Underwood

  2. One of the things a mentor of mine said was “there will always be a place in the market for a smart person to go knocking on doors.”

    Ron

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