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Thursday, September 1, 2016

What happened to real salespeople?

Salespeople - I've worked with a few. As a young media assistant, then media buyer, planner/buyer and agency owner, I've talked with all kinds. The good, the bad, and the, well, really bad. 
I always felt that media salespeople got a bad rap. A dear friend and media salesperson told me once that media salespeople we perceived as just a tick above used car salesperson in terms of professionalism. This shocked me, as I, at that point in my career, had only worked with good ones.
Well, my friends, the day of the good salesperson is a thing of the past. Not only are good salespeople extremely hard to find, so is good customer service. 
With online marketing and "virtual" business prevalent in society, people forgot something: people do business with other people.

My dad has been a salesperson for roughly 50 years. He's sold everything from pasta and Chevrolets to Fruit Stripe gum. He told me once that if you are in sales, you will always have a job because "people will always buy from other people." Even if you find auto insurance online in 15 minutes and save 15% or more, you will, inevitably, work with a person at some point.
We've forgotten about training. Teaching our teams how to work with people. What happened to treating the customer the way we want to be treated? Or, even still, treating them better than we want to be treated? Going out of our way to help the other person? 
When a salesperson requests and schedules a conference call with me, I expect them to initiate the call. It's not my responsibility to call them so they can possibly sell me something I didn't ask for. When I request information from a person who has sold something to me, I expect to get it. That's part of something called "service after the sale."
Let's put a new focus on customers - getting them, keeping them, and spreading a little goodness in the process.
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