During my first year as a sales professional, I met a legendary figure within our industry – “Squirrel.” Every industry has their legend – the first million dollar man, the first to work their way from entry level to CEO, the first to successfully shift the paradigm. They are our business world heroes – especially when you are the ‘new kid’ and they share with you a few words of wisdom.
One day, Squirrel offered to share the secret to his success, stating, “There are three keys to success in sales… See the People, See the People, and See the People!” As he walked away, I cannot say that I truly comprehended the strength or validity of his advice. That appreciation would come with the development of my own sales expertise.
Squirrel’s words were simple and they still ring true today. Throughout my sales career, his guiding principle has stood the test of time: Your best clients are the ones you see most frequently, face to face. A personal handshake, a warm embrace or sharing a cup of coffee develops more long term business than any PowerPoint presentation, GoToMeeting, email or phone call could ever do. You will stand out in a crowd of email peddlers. When you are personally engaged and sharing a moment with a prospect or client, you are developing a friendship/relationship. You are no longer just a vendor, supplier or solicitor. Customers see you as a human being who can help their business. You bring value.
By train, plane or automobile, get going and See the People, See the People, See the People. If you are working for someone who does not place value on seeing your clients and visiting them frequently, no matter the distance or circumstance, you might be working for the wrong organization (and likely one that will continue to lose clients). One other word from Squirrel: “Every day you are not in front of your clients, your competition is.”