Recently, I had the great privilege of working with a Sales Team in an Industry very closely related to one of my passions. I had been asked to conduct the sales training in person, rare by today’s standards. It was not a problem for me when I heard where the client’s office was located. And of course, the necessary protocols were in place. On Monday morning, I hopped in my car and made the drive south from my house to a place very familiar to me. Over 30 years prior and nearly at the exact spot I had started a job in aviation, now I entered an office and headed in for a very different purpose. As I entered the office the familiar aroma of a long-lost friend, that of jet fuel wafted over me as I peered out the massive windows that looked upon the runway of the airport. For the next three days, I would have to contain my enthusiasm as I was here to conduct sales training, not to watch planes. As fun as that would have been, there was much work to do.
The group I was working with was professional, knowledgeable, and passionate about their Industry. It was clear that they knew their product, their competitors’ products, and their services. There was incredible interaction from the team, and we got the opportunity to debate some age-old sales items as they related to the selling process. One item we discussed was selling new customers versus existing clients, the differences, and the importance of all segments to the business. This got me thinking a little bit.
Often as sellers, we have the role of acquiring business from various sources. This can be new sales, that we prospect or that call into our business. It can be referrals, or it can be from existing customers that we know and have experienced our brand and know our services. Some conversations will be easier than others when prospects and clients want to buy, and some will be more difficult when they don’t. As sellers, we have to constantly juggle our priorities and our pipeline to keep a steady flow of prospects saying yes. As hard as it might be this is a constant battle we face, particularly with existing customers. I think here the word existing throws salespeople off a bit. We have them, they buy from us. They will call or contact us when they need something, right? Says who?