June '19

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58 THE SHOP JUNE 2019 of person it will take to get the job done. Many times at my business I don't necessarily need a hardnosed salesperson who can close deals and hold gross profit. Instead, what I really need is more of what I would call a liaison—someone to serve as an extension of our company that can deliver information and talk about the benefits of our products and services. Having this viewpoint has led me to find people who would never have thought of themselves as salespeople. They view themselves more as customer service individuals, so that is what I have them do—simply service customers and help them with whatever they need. In my opinion, someone with a smile, a friendly demeanor and a good work ethic is more likely to secure long-term business relationships than a traditional salesperson. This is because most tradi- tional salespeople believe they know how to sell, whereas customer service-oriented employees can learn products and pro- cesses and how to ask for more business in a non-threatening way. HOW DO I KNOW IF IT'S WORKING? There are many ways to measure success besides just more sales. Has the person you brought in been able to forge deeper roots and strengthen your existing customer base? Has this person allowed you or someone else to be freed up to work more on your business instead of in your business on a day-to- day basis? Has your overall quality of work risen? Were you able to get into more categories or products because of their help? And is the overall morale and quality of life better for you and/or your staff since they were hired? This last question is important to me because, yes, it may cost me some money to hire an additional salesperson, but if it results in a better environment where people are happy and want to come into work each day instead of always being stressed out and looking for another job, then ultimately I will make more money and provide a better quality of life for myself and my employees. Salespeople don't always have to "sell" in the tradi- tional sense—they can also serve as company liaisons to take care of customers' needs. Look for potential employees with a friendly demeanor and strong work ethic. NEXT SALESPERSON

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