Salespeople can be fantastic additions to your business. It gives you, the owner, the ability to have dedicated personal strictly in charge of acquiring new business. For most shop owners, this undertaking may have been previously your role. While trying to balance production, running the business, sales often times goes on the back burner. Finding sales reps can be tough, but with the right strategy, you can easily hire them. Once you've hired them, you're one step closer to expanding your business.
Now let's make sure that you train your sales rep correctly.
If you want someone to sell something well, they have to know exactly what they are selling. You can give your sales rep a t-shirt, an embroidered jacket, or a promotional product, and give them all the "specs" needed to sell but until they feel what it means to produce and decorate a good, they will never truly understand what it takes.
By cross-training, you can get them to understand flashing, and the difference between a 4 color manual job with flashing and a 7 color auto job! Let them cut backing for a day and try to hoop hats for your embroidery department. Have them actually burn and wash out a screen. Let them watch your graphic designer as they struggle with finding fonts and terrible renderings they have to sift through and clean up.
They will develop a profound amount of respect for the job and be able to sell your product better.
You can tell your sales rep how to sell, but they must see you selling in action. Take them along to see how you handle your key accounts. Let them realize that the relationship with the customer is far more valuable than the product they are selling. Have them see what a warm lead looks like vs. a cold call. Close a job in front of them to build their confidence and let them know it is possible to sell decorated products.
It may sound silly, but your sales rep "pitch" is everything. Make sure they are great on the phones and in person. Spend time each day role-playing their initial customer interaction and have them develop a script. Make them write it out and practice with your entire team. You want your sales reps to be knowledgeable, but graceful in their presentation. To get past the learning curve have your friends pretend to be interested customers and push them through various hoops to jump through. Like a sport, this takes continued practice.
You must have a system in place for your sales reps to use. It is best to use a CRM such as Close.io so they can keep their leads and customers organized. Make sure they are proficient at sending customer quotes in a tool such as Printavo. Ensuring that the customer experience is always professional, you have to set your sales rep up for success, and that means making sure their technology is top notch. They should have a professional email with your company's domain name as well as business cards. Make sure that they understand pricing, and can easily quote jobs. They should be asking you quite a bit for help on pricing to start, that is okay- they need to build confidence.
Once you have a system in place, it is important that you keep a close eye on their performance. Remember, you hired for attitude and are training for skill so early on it is important to track their effort. That could be how many calls they've made, how many quotes they've sent out, or even dollars booked. They need to be as excited about these metrics as you so make sure you incentivize them with customers and jobs that fit your criteria.
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Printavo is simple shop management software. Whether your shop works with screen printing, embroidery, signage, digital printing, or awards & engraving–we make your complex workflow simpler to manage and understand. Printavo keeps your shop organized by handling scheduling, estimates, quote approvals, workflow, payments, accounting and more. With Printavo, you’ll work smarter–not harder.Try Printavo