Thoughts of a Businessman


Summertime is that time of year to devote to family and reflect on the business year so far and this one has proven to be particularly pensive. Spending the start of the summer holidays with my kids I’ve found myself musing on the events that have brought us to today, especially with the current turmoil in my industry. It goes without saying that the past 16 months have been particularly challenging for most with monumental change happening the world over. We can see change everywhere, in the economy, across the world, in politics and within the environment. What is really evident to me is how afflicted a lot of people are in respect to their livelihoods and careers in light of these changes. As I’ve grown older, from that 19-year-old enlivened in a new job opportunity to now; a family man with children and multiple businesses, I’ve come to realise that my industry (direct sales) whether it be the face-to-face aspect or the call centre side, is a wonderfully stable and secure career path.

It is a truth universally acknowledged that companies will always need customers; both new and more. Growth is an inherent need for every company regardless of industry speciality and the appetite for effective customer acquisition is ever increasing, whether it be during the best or the worst of times. Companies are always looking to find the most cost-effective forms of customer acquisition and the best forms of these focus not only on cost effectiveness but also on loyalty development. Focusing on a plethora of unique selling points with customers and providing them with a great customer experience is the way to establish customer loyalty. This is exactly what we bring to our clients as not only do we get the customers a great deal moving forward by selling on price and security, but in addition, we sell the client’s brand and by extension become brand ambassadors. Consequently, we’re not just delivering customers to our clients, but loyal customers. Personally, I believe that’s an incredibly powerful form of customer acquisition.

A couple of decades ago in this industry, everything was all about price. Now however, people want more than just a good price and there’s a requirement of good customer service, of knowing what one’s money is contributing towards, where the company spends theirs and whether they’re investing in new technologies, green energy and sustainability. The environmental changes that we’re seeing worldwide are just one of the changes we’ve witnessed trickling over into the sales industry. When you combine strong brand representation, environmental sustainability and transparency with where the money goes, alongside a good price and excellent customer service, that’s the gold standard right there. And again, it all goes back to value and companies that add value to their customers as well as to the environment, which implies a focus on the long term, are only going to appeal to a wider range of potential customers than companies that don’t. All of these aspects and unique selling points are ones that we’ve taken on board with my businesses, and these factors are what put us ahead of the competition.

It all comes down to that moment when you connect with another human being, whether that be in person or by phone, and when the sales agents can get that right and establish that strong rapport, that is a relationship that will last. So naturally, we teach all of our staff from across all of the sales businesses not only how to sell well but also how to deliver a strong professional experience. All of our sales reps understand that we will not always be the cheapest, nor can we guarantee something that we cannot deliver. What we can rely on however, is delivering the best possible customer service, a great sales experience with our customers, being exceptional at delivering unique selling points with our clients, what they do with their money, how they spend their money and what they do with their business. Our foundation is based on delivering all of these to both client and customer, and that’s how we generate loyalty.

The other paramount factor in establishing a sustainable and durable sale business is simply the way you conduct yourself in the way you sell. A decade or so ago, salespeople had a reputation of selling hard, closing hard, overturning at every negative, backing customers into a corner, generally making it very uncomfortable and almost impossible for a customer to say no. I believe now as I did then – that is the wrong way to sell. In addition to it having a short-term outlook, I’ve witnessed many salespersons take that view of sales and adopt that smash and grab technique, and I can tell you without hesitation that it never works. Our business is all about teaching and training our reps to do things properly and professionally. When we focus on the client’s needs, the customer’s needs and our fellow teammates’ needs you start to sell with a value-added sales technique which delivers massive value to the customer as well as professionally representing the clients. The combination of these values results in the deliverance of not only a better customer experience and a higher volume of sales, but it actually establishes a sustainable sales force.

As mentioned before, companies are consistently going to need more customers so consequently the sales industry is never going to die. Accordingly, we teach the right philosophy to sales to ensure our continued growth alongside. The way we teach sales will make you successful in the short term but even more so in the long term. My philosophy is not the smash and grab technique where managers would say make sure you get some sales on the board by the end of the day and do anything to close the deal, but rather that we’re building a long term, sustainable, values-added sales approach. This is why I believe we’ve become so successful in particular over the last 6 years, as the minute we adopted this approach we’ve grown a hundredfold, whilst maintaining our values.

So, my advice from my summertime musings? Establish a consultative relationship with your clients as well as your customers and add value whenever and wherever you can because if you do the right things the right things will happen to you, period.

Keep smashing it,

G

What I’m listening to:

  • Business as Usual by Anita Roddick
  • Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell