Sign & Digital Graphics

June '19

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30 • June 2019 • S I G N & D I G I T A L G R A P H I C S So You Want To Pump Up Sales? Pump Up Your Sales Force Vince DiCecco is a business training and development consultant and owner of the Acworth, Georgia-based business, Your Personal Business Trainer, Inc. He has been sculpting his sales, marketing and training techniques since 1979, and he has shared innovative and practical ideas on business management excellence for two Fortune 200 companies, the U.S. Coast Guard, and in seminars at many sign and digital graphics trade shows. Since 2003, YPBT has been serving small- to mid-sized companies in their efforts to strive for sustained growth and market dominance. Contact him via email at or visit his com- pany website, art and science of selling. If the very people that are charged with representing your company, product line and themselves are not proud and passionate about their chosen profession, how can they successfully inspire prospective customers to feel good about buying from your business? Today may be a good time for your sign and digital graphics company to pump up your sales force. Taking The Pulse Of Passion Granted, the sample population of my mini-study was slightly biased. They were all seeking a new employer either because they were let go from their last position—perhaps because they weren't that proficient—or they were disenchanted with their current sales job and were looking elsewhere. But, shouldn't you think that someone trying to "sell" themselves to a prospective employer would be bubbling over with enthusiasm about their vocation? They weren't. Here were some of the questions I posed to the job candi- dates: • On a scale of 1 to 10, how would you rate the sales profes- sion against other occupations in terms of being admired and respected? • What are some things that top flight sales professionals do that average sales reps can't do, don't think to do, or aren't willing to do? • Why do you think customers buy goods and services from one company and not others that offer similar things? The average response to the first question was 8.02. Not bad, but consider this… only three of 22 applicants gave the sales profession a "ten" rating. I had to with- hold my shocked reaction when two candidates boldly answered "five" to the question. Most respondents qualified their answer by making sure I was asking them for their opinion of the profession and not the public in general. Had I phrased the question "how would today's consumer rate the sales profession against other occupations in terms of being admired and respected?", I would have received a much lower average response— something between "pond scum" and "lying wea- sel." When I asked about what separates the top dogs from the rest of the sales pack, over half the answers dealt with the individual's drive and work ethic. I would agree with that to some extent, but R ecently, a start-up company in Atlanta hired me to find "a hard-working, enthusiastic, top producing sales rep" to help them get a jump start on building their business. I was careful to accurately describe the opportunity and the com- pany's expectations in the job posting. To my delight, response to the ad was swift and numbered in the hundreds. After sifting through the tall stack of resumes, I narrowed the search to two dozen "best fit" candidates and prepared to conduct phone and face-to-face interviews. I settled on ask- ing each person the same set of questions designed to draw out, among other traits and thoughts, the candidate's attitude toward the selling profession. Frankly, a somewhat disappointing revelation befell me. Today's sales professionals exhibit a lackluster opinion of the B Y V I N C E D I C E C C O Make it Your Business ARCHITECTURAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL RUNNING THE BUSINESS

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