An Industry Mind Shift

Years ago, I remember reading an article where a lumber salesman sold 30 million a year down South. He was on the cover as the best outside salesman in the nation. We at Drexel celebrated that. We felt we could have many outside road salesman (osr)… or as we call them here quarterbacks selling that much or more. We chased that for at least 10 years.

For about the last 5 years, I could tell our quarterbacks haven’t been truly the best version of themselves. It is blatantly obvious. We said, well that’s just salesman for ya. Stressed, vocal, tough, they just needed more support. Happy Sales Ninjas, I came up with at least 3 years ago.

Nothing stuck.

The more support we gave them, the more they had to train people the more sale they had to com up with to support that staff. The less each customer saw them because they were stuck in the office training their support or chasing more sales to feed that support. And the cycle continued, all in an effort to have a quarterback get to a top number. God didn’t make many great salespeople, so let’s get the great ones more accounts we said. Always more.

Then it hit me like lightning in Jackson, Wyoming on a hike.

LESS IS MORE.

It seems to me the happiest quarterbacks and the happiest customers are when the quarterback is green (doesn’t even know a lot about the industry) but has time to invest in each customer, each project as a consultant. Organized, happy, and most importantly available. But then… you guessed it, they get more and more…and well you know how this goes.

What if we had a company where each quarterback has a handful, not over 100 as many of our quarterbacks do, but a handful of core accounts. The prospecting comes from penetration of each home, fulfilling all the categories of each house down to the lockset. Able and willing to make small deliveries, fix a lockset, install a screen, present a quote in person, and coach and train a bunch of people on their team as they go. And home in time to coach their daughter’s baseball game. No worries. That our quarterbacks would be the BEACONS of supply happiness. Not the overburdened oxen.

That means at least doubling our sales force. At least. Wow. And having some hard conversations of that MORE isn’t better. Yes, even less compensation to very well compensated people. It doesn’t matter if Aaron Rodgers make 20 million, if you take him to 15 million even if it is the best idea for him… it won’t and hasn’t already been well recieved. That’s ok… we must protect OUR CUSTOMERS, OUR TEAM, AND THE QUARTERBACKS FROM OURSELVES.

Our customers are SCREAMING for our quarterbacks to simply be available. Many still think, if I had a developed team below me, I would have more time. That is wrong and proven over and over and over again to be wrong. It’s less accounts.

Here is an example outside our industry.

Doctors. If I was dying from cancer, would I want the world’s best cancer Doctor to have 150 patients and 100 nurses to support him. Or the world’s best cancer Doctor with 10 patients and 3 nurses. Well that answer is pretty obvious.

One more.

How about teachers? The world’s best teacher in a class of 400, with 10 assistants instructing you. Or a class of 20 with one assistant. Um, yeah sign me up for the smaller class.

I have a few simple goals before I retire.

  1. Make sure we are the leaders of offsite construction in Wisconsin. So much that this is a standard practice.
  2. Make sure we build a ton of PAULS homes .
  3. Make our quarterbacks happy. If they are happy, our whole team will SWELL WITH JOY. SWELL! The blog is a start of my emotions on this.

If you want to talk about it, I AM ALWAYS AVAILABLE, (I hope someday you can say the same thing). 920-979-4045 or my e-mail is fine 920-979-4045. My schedule is always full, but always has time in it.

Let’s help each other. It starts with the shift of the mind.

People over profits. We can change the industry and dominate with this new philosphy that is needed in our industry. Drexel, although difficult, will make it happen. We may even lose some good people over this change. I hope not. I don’t want to ever lose a good person. But if that is what it takes to make people truly happy, then so be it.

SUPPLY. HAPPINESS.

JOEL

One thought on “An Industry Mind Shift

  1. I’m totally onboard with this shift. We have a great team but the builder will also go to the face of the account which is the QB. It is the QB that helps keep the relationship strong. We know Builders use Drexel because we are the best and provide the best service in the market. That does not mean we can’t be better. If fact, we know we have to do better as those that quit trying end up being irrelevant! Less = More, Time = Happiness, Conversations = Trust

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