A couple of recent postings on the Construction Marketing Ideas LinkedIn group provide insights for contractors and renovators hoping to increase their sales success.
New Zealand-based Graeme Owens provides six steps to professional presentations here, and Vadim Vakov in the Greater Toronto Area offers some useful suggestions in his blog.
The advice here leads to some other interesting questions: How is it that some sales representatives are so successful, while others struggle. Can you really change the equation here and achieve significant improvement, or do you need to accept that things are the way they are, and won’t change?
I’m going to dare go out on a limb and suggest that “genetics” is something you cannot under-rate here — perhaps supported by your childhood experience and family experiences growing up. In other words, if you have it, you have it, and if you don’t, you won’t.
(Sales trainers and other marketing gurus may disagree, as they pitch their services and solutions, but I would advocate that the best indicator of sales performance is (a) psychological testing that indicates your actual personality/potential and (b) your early results when you join the organization. “Early” can be defined on different levels, depending on the sales cycle — if you are selling multi-million (or billion) dollar jet contracts, your early results may need to be measured in years, but usually you’ll only achieve these types of sales opportunities if you’ve paid your dues and proven yourself earlier in your career.)
While these early indicators may provide clues, a second challenge occurs in assessing what and when you are selling. If you were in the mortgage business in the U.S. in the early part of the last decade, you could have made a fortune if you had any sales talent — today, you might struggle to make ends meet. If you are working for a business/industry in a serious slump/downturn, your efforts may be futile, no matter how good you are — because sales reps can only achieve results within the framework of their business/market. (Certainly, in my business’s case, our top sales representatives’ are increasingly built on repeat business. They succeed with a project and the client is satisfied, so the client agrees to repeat, year after year. These results are great for the salesperson, of course, and are certainly healthy for our overall business.)
You may wish to set up your own evaluation systems and tools for sales hiring practices. You can visit our special site dedicated to advertising sales at adsalessuccess.com. Consider psychological testing as part of your evaluation process. While we now use a proprietary system which we cannot share, we’ve validated our results against salestestonline.com, which is available to everyone — and is priced reasonably compared with other testing options.
Then, absorb the industry-specific advice offered here, and by others such as Graeme Owen andVadim Vakov, and you’ll more likely succeed in your business.