Saturday Morning Sales

Kevin Latchford

NAVIGATION - SEARCH

Q&A Week 8 - August 18, 2018

For the past few years, since I began using this weekly blog to share stories about sales and sales management, I have been receiving numerous questions from readers including my own clients. Over the next several months I am going to use my weekly ramblings to post one reader question with my answer. Please note – my answers are based on my personal and professional experiences and in no way reflect my company or specific clients.

 

Q: What do you believe are the best and worst current trends or tools being used by sales people?

 

A: My answer to this question is social media for both the best and the worst. Social media can be a sales person’s best friend if used properly. LinkedIn, for example, is an amazing application based on connectivity. You have the ability to not only make connections with your customers, but with prospects as well. A sales person no longer needs to make cold calls if they know how to use LinkedIn to warm the initial call up. Research on companies and who the right people are to contact are at your fingertips. But, just as powerful as LinkedIn can be, other social media platforms like Facebook can be a detriment to a sales person. Forget the “time suck” that is Facebook, but when a sales person connects with customers on Facebook they are opening up their personal lives for evaluation and potential criticism. Politics, religion, parenting styles, hobbies, you name it, are on display on peoples Facebook pages. A sales person runs the risk of alienating or upsetting the customer relationship because of the personal agenda. It is wise to use and manage LinkedIn carefully and even wiser to keep your Facebook life separated from your business life.

Q&A Week 7 - August 11, 2018

For the past few years, since I began using this weekly blog to share stories about sales and sales management, I have been receiving numerous questions from readers including my own clients. Over the next several months I am going to use my weekly ramblings to post one reader question with my answer. Please note – my answers are based on my personal and professional experiences and in no way reflect my company or specific clients.

 

Q: What advice do you have for a forty-something sales person changing careers? I am staying in sales, but moving into a new field, and I am terrified. Thank you.

 

A: Fear is okay as long as it does not consume you. I commend you for taking the leap and being willing to bring on a new challenge in your career. Keep in mind that you are not new to sales just new to this specific area. Sales is sales in so many ways. You know how to make cold calls, develop leads, and bring new business through the door. What you lack is product knowledge. My advice is to study, study, study. You need to become an expert with the products you are representing and you also need to know your competition. As you gain this perspective with the new industry, you will also need to learn the ins & outs of your new company. Gaining an understanding on who’s who and what’s what in the company will give you the necessary insight to pave your own way. Last thing – they hired you because of your skills. You have what it takes to be successful, the tools of the trade so to speak, now have the confidence to apply those skills.

Q&A Week 6 - August 4, 2018

For the past few years, since I began using this weekly blog to share stories about sales and sales management, I have been receiving numerous questions from readers including my own clients. Over the next several months I am going to use my weekly ramblings to post one reader question with my answer. Please note – my answers are based on my personal and professional experiences and in no way reflect my company or specific clients.

 

Q: What is the most recent mistake you’ve made in business and what was the lesson learned?

 

A: I broke the golden rule of hiring & firing – to hire slow and fire fast. I made the decision to hire a sales person based on only a few interviews that were condensed in a matter of a couple weeks. I believed the candidate would be a worthwhile hire based on his years of experience and his communication skills, especially his writing skills. Unfortunately, because I fast tracked the hiring process, I did not spend nearly enough time analyzing his capabilities in new business development and cold calling. While his sales experience seemed extensive on paper, he was not skilled in new business development, rather he was a glorified account manager. He was not successful in cold calling, networking, or developing new opportunities on his own. I then gave him many more chances and opportunities to improve than I should have. Actually, it was unfair to him as well to keep him around with false hope that he could turn around his activity level. In fact, I should have let him go after three months. It was definitely a mistake on my part to hire him and even a bugger mistake not to fire him sooner.