They are a high-spirited and independent bunch; equally so, they all get along and the camaraderie is deafening. This group of seasoned salespeople will go about their business with a low-key approach, but a competitive spirit that is second to none.
Laughing in the face of CRM and more sophisticated sales tracking, their day may begin with 3 x 5 index cards, or a simple spiral bound notebook you might otherwise find in any school-age child’s classroom. Handwritten notes carry some reminders of the customer and contact events, and no page is without its fair share of strikeouts and markups of text.
Cell phone use is of simple nature – they use their phones to manage the customer’s needs much like an air traffic controller at a busy airport. Customer service reps are like ground controllers by helping each order navigate its way to completion. A few text messages here and there, and certainly a fair amount of voice mail, but email is best left to when they get home, or on the chance they will stop by the office for a visit.
Unlike their brethren who diligently – in many cases, unwillingly - update their call management software with notes and alerts, all the while losing more selling time just to keep their nose clean in the face of management, they don’t confuse activity with productivity.
How do they keep track of it all? Not much different than when the generation before them lacked today’s complex software and information technology. They are not unlike the restaurateur who remembers their best customers favorite choices that is often prefaced by, “I’ll have my usual.”
These are high touch individuals and they have the sustainable revenue numbers to prove it. Many are engaged in multigenerational businesses. Trust is a key component for their success - on the part of the customer, the company, and those who support their sales efforts.
Although you may not find them featured in a major business magazine or cover story, you are likely to see many of these professionals recognized in the local newspaper or an industry trade journal. If this sounds like you, your company, or someone you do business with, I would enjoy hearing your stories of success and how you manage your business in today’s highly competitive environment without all the stylish technology others would like to put upon you.