Industry Magazine Get JACK'D Magazine Spring 2017 - Page 30

ASK JACK Ask Jack INSIGHTS FROM THE EXPERT 1. What is the best way to separate yourself from your competition? My answer is threefold: a) Focus on your goals; b) Caring more about the customer than caring about the sale; and c) Grit in times of adversity. 2. What is the most fundamental tool for customer retention? Proactive communication and honesty. Look, I don’t like bad news. No one does. But I have told those around me, if you have bad news, please get it to me quick so I can mitigate the losses and take action to turn things around. 3. What’s been your biggest tool in remaining accountable professionally? As most folks know, I am driven by my goals. However, my insurance policy is my team of trusted accountability partners who hold my feet to the fire. I have five accountability partners on my personal goals, three on my business goals, and six on my triathlon goals. That’s fourteen in total for a guy in his late sixties—and they are “caring badasses”! 4. What do you do to live a balanced life? I’m thinking of my wife Bonnie right now and she would laugh and say I’m not. I disagree. For example, we agree two years in advance on how many nights in a year I will sleep in hotels on business, how many nights traveling for fun, and how many nights I’ll be home. For several years now, my nights have been evenly divided among the three. Of late, I have been increasing the number of nights at home. If I reacted to all the business opportunities I am presented SPRING 2017 with, I’d be in hotels on business over 300 nights a year and the balance would be shot. Getting buy-in early will reduce turbulence later. 5. Your mantra of “hire slowly, fire quickly”: Is there a breaking point? Do you give second and third opportunities? On one polar extreme, I have hired a salesperson whom I have fired before the end of the first day. I realized I got bs’d in the interview process, and no matter how much training and coaching I provided, ultimately I would be letting this hire go. Once I realized it, I took action. (My bad on the interview/ hire). On the other hand, I believe in providing multiple chances as long as the salesperson still believes, is committed to the systems and processes, and is demonstrating a solid work ethic. 6. At what point are you trying to bring on new salespeople? First off, there is always room on a sales team for top performers. Accordingly, there is no such thing as “fully staffed”. Think sports teams. They all have a list of recruits, are always courting them, and would instantly jump at the chance to hire a top-notch performer. 7. Have you ever put a limit on your head count inside your regional offices? My concern is that salespeople have too few opportunities. Justifiable? No, not justifiable. No, I don’t believe in limiting the number of salespeople operating in any location. It always makes me laugh when I hear this concern, which usually is coming from a sales team that has less than a 5 percent share of the market! Even doubling your number of salespeople would equate to maybe a 10 percent share, leaving 90 percent still out there! It’s a refrain often heard in the franchisee arena. Yet, look at how many McDonalds are at each freeway exit, with each capitalizing on the presence of the other. Heck, Starbucks has an intersection in Vancouver with a coffee shop on three of the four corners, each with lines (and they wanted all four corners!). In most businesses, if you want to grow your sales, grow your salesforce in quantity and quality. 8. What are some examples of “touch points” that have been most successful for you, and how often were you using them? Rather than one or two examples, the key with touch points is their diversity. Certainly, things about your company should be in there, but be careful of being out of balance in this area as you will be perceived, rightly so, of “showing up and throwing up”. Mix it up with things you personally know about the prospects, things that are specific to their industry that can be helpful to them, things that are of a general business nature that can assist them, and things that are plain fun. As well, mix up the frequency of contact based on the desirability of the prospect (note, all of this applies to your customers/clients as well). Given all of that, I’ve always favored providing my targets with info that will help them with their needs, opportunities, and problems that go beyond my products or services. 30