Each month, Alan Sipe, a contributing editor for Professional Distributor magazine, writes a sales skill article targeted to the independent business people who own and operate the various branded tool trucks you see parked at automotive repair shops everywhere. Although this article is written for the automotive repair industry, the sales skills are applicable to everyone.
Is it an objection or a question?
Your response will make a world of difference to your wallet.
You’re right in the middle of a product presentation on a new Jenny electric 7.5hp stationary air compressor when the prospect interrupts and growls, “How much is this compressor?”
Is it a question? Is it an objection? Is the product too expensive? The prospect used a negative tone, so they must be unhappy with my presentation, right? I’m not done with the presentation and he’s getting antsy, so he’s trying to rush me, isn’t he?
First things first. Let’s understand what’s meant by the question, “How much is this compressor?”
If you think about it, the prospect probably had a compressor that was working just fine. Now the thing just died or is on its last legs and they must get a new one. The prospect isn’t happy with needing a new compressor, so they most likely won’t be thrilled with any price other than free.
In this case, even though the prospect interrupted you with a question, it’s simply that, a question. How you respond can move your potential customer in the direction of saying “yes” to the compressor purchase, or it can blow up in your face.
A simple, straightforward response is always the best. Try being relaxed, and say something like, “It will be between $X and $Y depending on which accessories you choose. Let’s take a look at the accessories and see what you decide.” (more…)
As part of my (Rachel) own training, I spent the day riding along with a MAC jobber. It was an interesting and eye-opening experience, and I learned more about sales in that one day than ever before. Mobile jobbers are a unique distribution channel that marketers in the B2T space need to better understand.
Today we have a guest post from Alan Sipe that provides insight into the world of Mobile Jobbers. Alan is President of Toolbox Sales and Consulting and has more than 40 years of experience including Sr. VP of Sales and Marketing for Klein Tools and President of KNIPEX Tools. His insights in selling through various distribution channels and professional contractors are invaluable.
via MAC Tools
Every Tuesday at about 10 a.m. or Wednesday at 3 p.m. here comes the Cornwell, MAC, Matco, Snap-on or independent mobile jobber representative into your shop.
If they are good at their job, with each visit he or she will be demonstrating the latest and greatest tools for you to purchase. They will also be taking care of your broken tools and delivering your previous orders.
But, how much do you really know about this visitor? What’s their business story? It sure looks easy, walking around showing a bunch of tool nuts (mechanics) cool tools, doesn’t it?
Well, good mobile jobbers make it look easy. But, not surprisingly, there’s more to it than meets the eye.
So, what’s a typical mobile jobber’s day like? (more…)
I think we all can agree that the manufacturing sales function has had its challenges and has changed over the past several decades.
Today we have a guest post from Alan Sipe, President of Toolbox Sales and Consulting. Alan has over 40 years of experience including Sr. VP of Sales and Marketing for Klein Tools and President of KNIPEX Tools. His insights in selling through various distribution channels and professional contractors are invaluable. Alan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I am possibly the oldest living American who in 40+ years of manufacturing selling has pretty much sold just pliers for 35 of those years! Twenty four with Klein Tools, eleven with KNIPEX plus the four with Stanley and one with Waterloo fill in the rest of the 40. This successful career longevity gives me a pretty long view of what it takes to have sales success. (more…)
Today we have a guest post from Alan Sipe, President of Toolbox sales and consulting. Alan has over 40 years of experience including Sr. VP of Sales and Marketing for Klein Tools and President of Knipex Tools. His insights in selling through various distribution channels and professional contractors are invaluable. Alan can be reached at email@example.com.
So, why isn’t your new Super-Duper Widget selling?
Your Research Department talked to your users and found a need. Product Development and Design took that information and developed the world’s best Super-Duper Widget. Marketing put together literature and an excellent introduction display and sales package. Sales developed a forecast and Production has plenty of Super-Duper Widgets in stock. Literature, samples, promotional material and quotas went out to your Manufacturer’s Representatives … right on time.
Now you only have one little problem … your fabulous new Super-Duper Widgets are not selling into distribution at anywhere near projections.
You did everything right … Right?
There is a mistaken opinion that as soon as you give someone the title salesperson they immediately are professional Super-Duper Widget salespeople … you couldn’t be more wrong!
Whether your sales staff is your own or if you use independent reps. Here are some things to consider:
The first thing to consider (no matter what they tell you)is that as a Manufacturer’s Representative they represent many lines and no one can intuitively be an expert in all things.
Mary may be an excellent salesperson and has great relationships with all her customers and gets good repeat orders but doesn’t do well with new products. (more…)