What is your toughest sales situation? Is it Prospect A? The Gatekeeper? Or the ‘new’ guy that needs to prove his worth by making your sale tougher? Though these might all be REALLY tough situations, many times our toughest sale isn’t to a paying customer, it’s with the internal folks in marketing, customer support, operations and leadership.
Whether we like it or not, collaborating or working WITH others IN your company to ‘win’ their assistance and support will help you sell more. Having them on your side makes all your sales activities from marketing, prospecting, presentation, order fulfillment, and customer relations easier and more efficient.
John Miller, author of QBQ! and now Outstanding! uses a phrase that still makes me chuckle, he says that some sales teams call the ‘insiders’ at their company, the Sales Prevention Department. Now come on! Are the operations and marketing people really trying to keep you from making sales? Probably not.
Like an ignored or unhappy customer, though, they can make our jobs more challenging.
This week I am in Florida working with my Sharpenz.com partner, Alice Kemper. Watching the support of her Administrative Manager reminds me why she is so successful. Alice takes care of Gloriann Perque at work and as a person. In turn, Gloriann will do ‘anything’ (she told me so) for Alice. And that pays off in business.
With my associates at Sales Pro Insider, Inc. I am fortunate to have Lynn Zimmber, Kayla Kutz and Claire Ziffer help me with so many things – even at last notice.
I see this with many successful sales professionals. They know who to go to when they need to get something done. They may be demanding, but they also take care of their internal folks. Some even give gifts or money at year-end to share their bonus and commission that they couldn’t have earned without that support. Others are thoughtful throughout the year and verbalize their appreciation often.
So today I challenge you collaboratively sell with your internal people:
- Build a relationship with your internal associates
- Ask them questions – understand what THEY do and why they do it. Find out what they need to be able to serve you better
- Listen – really listen
- Appreciate them and what they do
- When giving them something to do, ask for any potential obstacles and work with them to remove them
- Ask for a decision or commitment.
Identify one person on your team (it can even be your manager) that you want buy-in from for you and your efforts. And then begin today to sell with them and win them over. An easy way is to show genuine appreciation TODAY! Your benefits will be huge!
What do you think? How have you turned an internal associate into a huge advocate that helps you? Who is the internal person that you want to recognize and appreciate?