I was recently contacted by a Marketing major college student that was working on an assignment, he had some great questions. Below you will find my answers to his questions. I’d love to hear your comments or thoughts.
• How did you get into sales?
I really fell into sales or you might say was forced into sales – As a business owner you have to wear all the hats in most cases – Sales is a big hat, I really did not have any sales experience, but wanted to own my own business – so I learned as I went and read books on sales and marketing and attended workshops and still after 25 years I work on sales training and techniques.
• What do you do in your position as owner of Bizarre Marketing?
Pretty much all aspects of any business – Marketing, Sales, and Customer Service are the big 3 which have many levels under each category – then there is marketing strategy and innovation development for clients and planning out the tactical aspects of the marketing plan – then over seeing and managing the process – reporting on results.
• Tell me about your working environment.
These days I am a solo act focusing more and more on marketing consulting and less on fulfilment and do bring on team members for projects and fulfilment as needed for Social Media Managment, Graphic Design and such. I run the business from a desktop, ipad and iphone (and good old landline) and old fashion fax machine. Email, texting and FB messaging are how most contact and follow is made with customers after the sit down meetings and deals are signed.
• What role do networking and communication have in your work?
Networking is huge, face to face and via several Social Media platforms – building relationships first and helping others leads to sales, which makes being a salesperson easy and effortless. Knowing your product and being able to communicate how you are going to fix a customer’s problem is also a huge component to being successful.
• What do you find most helpful in managing your relationships with customers?
Staying connected in several different ways – lunch and learns seeing what they need and helping them get it – even if it’s not going to ever lead to closed business. Sending Thank You cards, engaging on Social Media – again low key sales.
• What does it mean to you to be a sales professional?
I don’t and never have considered myself a salesperson or sales professional. I know the products I offer and listen to the customer’s needs, wants and pains – then offer solutions. If you go in looking to sell only I really feel you are not going to be as successful as someone who provides value first…sales will come, referrals will come when you over deliver.