www.inddist.com July/August 2017 / INDUSTRIAL DISTRIBUTION 25
the same question, “What other problems are you
experiencing that I can help with?” Customers would
eventually go to this salesperson for every problem they
experienced. He helped when he could and recommended
trusted partners for other problems. He was the first call.
That’s the power of solving problems.
Meet More People
Each new decision maker represents an opportunity
to grow your business and bond the customer to
your organization. Too many salespeople leverage
opportunities by asking themselves, “What other projects
can I quote?” Instead they should ask themselves, “What
other relationships can I build?”
Meeting more people will naturally create more
opportunities. Each new person might not have
purchasing authority, but they have information. Too
often, sales organizations focus on a growth target for
existing customers. What if you established a relationship
target instead? A relationship target provides you with
a longer-term goal. Also, each relationship you build
makes it harder for your competition to burrow their
way in. Creating more relationships adds another level
Find Leveraging Points
In a recent study, we asked top-achieving salespeople
the following question. “Think of your largest revenue-producing customer. Can you recall a single event or action
that had substantial impact on achieving success within
this account?” Sixty-five percent of top-achievers can recall
such an event. These events are called leveraging points.
Leveraging points help you achieve maximum
performance with minimum effort. To identify your
leveraging points, analyze your greatest sales successes.
Greatest successes can mean anything: order size,
profitability, number of product lines, etc. When
analyzing these successes, ask yourself what the key
events were that led to this success. After identifying
these key events, look for these leveraging points in your
current opportunities. Leveraging points will help you do
more with less.
Look at your existing opportunities for growth.
Your existing opportunities are your easiest and most
profitable ways to grow. As you grow an existing
customer, the cost to serve that customer goes down and
profit goes up. However, you can’t grow an opportunity
until you believe there is an opportunity to grow.
A salesperson’s mindset can be the limiting factor. For
some salespeople, it’s easier to think they have reached
their full potential than to find opportunities to grow.
These salespeople need to embrace a new mindset.
If complacency has set in, take the attitude of a
beginner. Shunryu Suzuki, the famous Zen monk and
teacher, said, “In the beginner’s mind there are many
possibilities. In the expert’s mind there are few.” What if
you viewed your existing customers through the eyes of a
beginner? Imagine the possibilities.
Paul Reilly is president of Reilly Sales Training, a St.
Louis-based privately-owned company that specializes in
training sales professionals, sales managers and service
professionals. Call Paul at 636-778-0175 or email him at