A note to a TM: Don’t forget your customer’s customer.

My friend, you have two customers. The first customer is the client–your account per se. The second is your customer’s customer. Your job is to ensure that your products are sold in as favorable and persuasive manner as possible. You need to teach the first customer how to sell your products in order to win business with the second. Additionally:

  1. Train your clients how to sell your products to homeowners, not just why they should buy them from you. Filtration sales are a great example of this shift from supply to demand-side selling. For example, sales reps have been perennially telling their clients about the profit motive from filters (low labor!). Yet, despite on-going performance improvements, filter inclusion rates remain low. The problem is that your clients don’t know how to transform the product in to progress from the consumers perspective. Teach your clients how to sell your products and you will distinguish yourself as a first-rate product and sales expert, further thickening your value proposition.
  2. Want to sell a new truck? Start by convincing potential buyers that a new truck will make them more macho, more fun, more adventurous, less pedestrian, and have better camping trips. Advertise to them, and wait for them to show up. Want to sell lip gloss? Give the product to a Kardashian. Want to sell a filter to a homeowner? Get rid of all the language about static pressure, ionization, microns, and voltage. Are you getting the point? People don’t buy products. They buy how products make them feel. You will have to give your clients the retail language that makes the buyer feel like a better, smarter, more responsible version of their current selves.
  3. Double down on the time you spend training your clients how to sell your products. Changing behaviors isn’t a “set it and forget it” process. One meeting isn’t going to cut it. It takes time, repetition, and focus. Role play scenarios, build product menus, set goals, contests, incentives. You can provide value-added service by training them to bring the product to life while explaining functionality in simple yet desirable terms. .

The scope of your sales cycle is far broader than you probably consider on a daily basis. Ask yourself: “What do I want my clients to say about my products when they’re in front of their customers?” “What have I done to influence an outcome that works in my favor?”


Published by Matt Plughoff

Exploring the next evolution of small business success.

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