THE FINE ART OF 2ND PLACE

TGIM… OR IS IT TUESDAY ALREADY?

IS IT JUNE?

YES, YES IT IS!

So, you prospected some accounts this winter.  You lost that job.  Now they won’t return calls.  You even sent them a snarky email!  I mean buy or die right, we will show them!!!

HOLD THE FORT.  HOLD THE FORT.

Do you know how hard it is to break up current relationships, some long term, some very personal… and buy from Team Blue?

Think what you have for breakfast.   I will bet a lot of moola that you eat 1 of 3 choices each breakfast.  Most of you eat exactly the same thing! Even if given many choices… you will normally still eat the one you always eat.   People don’t like change, even if it’s the best for them!…

***

So, now is the time to call… touch base, keep it fun and conversational… don’t stir up past quotes or orders… that will cause friction.  DON’T CHASE PLANS, CHASE RELATIONSHIPS.  Ask how things are going and ask for an appointment to learn a bit more about them (either their sales process or their operations) to see if we can help or guide at all.   And just to let them know we are still an option.  EVERYBODY LOVES OPTIONS.  BE A CONFIDENT 2ND PLACE.

***

LET THEM KNOW WE DON’T DO 2ND PLACE WELL.  It’s just our competitive nature, but that we understand their hesitancy to use us.

Don’t be bitter… angry or even frustrated…and don’t just let it go.  DO NOT USE EMAIL EXCLUSIVELY TO TRY TO GET OVER THE HUMP.  TOO IMPERSONAL!  CALL. OR DO BOTH.

The meeting will be brief and we will leave a bit of information behind (think about a product that might interest them or even better an article you read on trends or the market.)  Ask for the meeting in two weeks (nobody is booked THAT far out).

Incrementally winning.

If we just took care of all the accounts we stirred up this winter… and played a good 2nd place… the return on this will last for years and you won’t have to chase plans…. doesn’t that sound good?

2nd place… you are not waiting for the competition to fail.  You are slowly, steadily replacing them in a natural easy fun way that really makes it easy for the customer to buy from us when we are truly helping them!

How do we help the customer?    EASY.  Learn about them.

And while you are it, do the same for your CURRENT customers.  Are you still finding how to help them more, suggesting ideas, or are you order taking?

You know your products better than them and more importantly you know their competition.  Without giving away trade secrets can you help them with best practices for them or great industry ideas being used.  YOU ARE THE EXPERT.  HELP THEM SUCCEED.

***

“Joel, but I don’t have the time!  I JUST DON’T HAVE THE TIME… I HAVE TO QUOTE/BID/ORDER AND THAT’S MY FULL DAY EVERY DAY.”

Well if you don’t HAVE THE TIME TO BUILD someone will BUILD IT FOR YOU… and then you will have to start the process over and make time for that.

WHAT’S MORE IMPORTANT THAN BUILDING RELATIONSHIPS?

If you don’t have the time to relationship build… you are doing this all wrong… talk to me or your store leader or coach and get “uncluttered” and fast.  Our competition is waiting for you to run out of time.

 

– Joel Fleischman.  Joel is Head Coach of the solution providers for Drexel Building Supply.  (drexelteam).   You can follow him on twitter:  @JoelmFleischman.   Since 1985, our business success has come from building others UP.

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