Holiday parties frequently appear to be more of a check mark rather than a benchmark and do not project what we preach. The sales profession teaches us to put ourselves in the shoes of our clients. Successful salespeople learn to listen more than they talk. Doing so aids us in coming to an improved understanding of client need.
Taking the idea of improved understanding is to become aware of preferences in many regards. When we can deliver as much as possible in the manner prospects desire, they become loyal clients.
What if management was to take the same philosophy into consideration about their employees? Holiday parties are the perfect arena to shower appreciation, but in many instances, it goes missing.
It was always curious to me that sales trainers and management dictated a one-way method to conduct business. Sales teams are commonly given the instruction, ‘Here is the script and how you relay it. Now go out and sell!’
Sadly, the instruction is the worst possible way to begin selling. Putting oneself in the client shoes starts with asking why they are taking the time to meet. Each prospect’s answer will be different. Therefore, one generic script doesn’t do the job.
But if we work to project what we preach, two results will boost the company bottom-line:
- Client loyalty
- Employee loyalty
Both aspects begin with putting oneself in the mindset of the other by asking questions. Inquiries, clarifying what is said, and obtaining the facts will build a solid case for doing business with you. Likewise, taking into account what is important to employees will trim the expense for the continual need to hire.
I began to apply the lesson to every undertaking both professional and social, including attending and hosting parties.
In the spirit of the upcoming holidays, enjoy the following stories!
1. Not the Only Way to Fly
Long ago, airlines went out of their way to ensure passenger comfort. Advertising for one airline did preach that it was the best way to fly.
A family member was a programmer for the company and enjoyed the travel benefits taking trips around the world. But one annoyance was their infamous Christmas Party. The tagline could have been, ‘Not the way to host.’ Executives decided to cover costs and then some by charging employees considerable sums to attend the event. Making matters worse, the party was a requirement.
Result: Charging employees for a party that was to be a show of appreciation did not build morale or employee loyalty. Turnover was high, and eventually, the company was bought out.
2. Silicon Valley Startup Excuse
If you want to get on the right side of employees, being thoughtful of spouses works wonders. Only executives of this company didn’t get the idea of putting themselves in the shoes of others.
The company decided to host a potluck lunch at a Community Room in town with the purpose of saving money. The wives were expected to cook the meal, but be silent at the party. It was further mandated that everyone on the team attend. It is difficult to describe the anger most of us felt.
Result: You can imagine that many of the employees left in the New Year, and the company folded shortly after.
3. As Good As It Gets
Amdahl was one of the first mainframe computer companies in competition with IBM.
Of all the stories I have been privy to, if anyone needs a role model, Gene Amdahl is the one. He treated employees with complete respect not only at year-end but throughout the year.
People stayed with the company for many years which is almost unheard of in a highly competitive environment. Eventually, the company was sold.
The level of employee satisfaction was so high that many years later a reunion was held in honor of Gene Amdahl. The occasion was one of pure joy. People reconnected with one another and shared the microphone to replay fond memories. At the very end, a number of the men lifted Amdahl in a chair to salute the best CEO!
Conclusion: Companies find the most success and reward in their employees. Strive to create a team-oriented environment.
For further insights read:
- Are You Missing A Piece of Business?
- Do You Ask Why to Expand Opportunity?
- Do You Seek the Better Solution?
As an attendee, observe all you can at your next holiday party. Give thought later about how you did or did not enjoy the party:
- Do you feel you were invited to fill the room or requirement, or do you feel like a special guest?
- Are conversations boastful or an equal give and take?
- By the time each event is over, do you wish never to attend again or look forward to next year’s event?
Apply the experience to your future sales calls and meetings. Strive to treat everyone as an equal and welcome all insights. Show your appreciation for each person’s time and help.
Most of all, show goodwill all year long and build a robust clientele. Many advantages exist in taking the extra steps:
- No need to seek new work
- Eliminate added pressure for making quota
- Know that you have a robust pipeline
- The team spirit is alive all year-round
- Recruiting is easier with in-house referrals
When clients and employees are happy the cost of turnover is reduced
Sales Tips for Projecting What You Preach
- In sales meetings, ask how the company may improve
- Listen carefully to all input and select the best
- Apply the advice and acknowledge the person who provides it
- Ask clientele for feedback
- Reward the better information with a gift card
- Review practices for instructing sales staff
- Teach salespeople to be professionally personal with clients
- Incorporate the idea of projecting what you preach into sales training for teams
- Reward salespeople for sharing their best efforts
- Celebrate Success!
Today’s blog is provided to help you achieve The Smooth Sale!
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