Before I was in enterprise sales, I was working full-time at a rental car location. My days would consist of cleaning cars in suits, attempting to sell rental car insurance and dealing with every type of customer imaginable. Making the transition from the automotive industry to Software has been nothing short of exciting. Since it’s the year of the customer, what can we all learn from my quick tenure at the rental location with the big green logo?
1. Don’t be scared to roll up your sleeves
In any job, you’re going to need to do duties that you might be too fond of. For me, it was cleaning vehicles, and boy, did I clean vehicles.
Dirty Hyundai Accent full of trash bags and fast food containers? — Done.
Chevy Suburban that just got thrashed by a family of six after a trip to Disneyland? — Let’s do it.
The same goes with guiding our potential clients in our sales cycle. Our products are only as good as the attention we give them. Doing a Tier 1 job on clearly explaining to our potential clients about our Quote-to-Cash solutions will eventually show, even if it means getting down and dirty.
2. The little things are what matter
My area manager would always stress about making sure every vehicles cup holders were clean. Even if everything else was dirty, the cup holders and the dashboard would make the difference, since it would sometimes be the customer’s only point of contact with the car. So there I would be, diligently cleaning the cup holders hoping for greatness (or at least a high customer service score). At the end of the day, the little things do matter. Sometimes sending that extra email or giving a thank you card to a noted member of a given company can equate to a
happy customer, and if all goes well, a customer for life.
3. Shut up and listen
Look, as salespeople we think we have the answers to everything (Which of course, we do, duh). But if all you do is talk and talk, a potential customer will most likely think you’re full of yourself and block you out and your brand entirely. Sometimes it is important to take a step back and listen.
4. Have faith in your brand
I’m amazed at how excited people are to come in to work every day here at the rocket ship. We all have a firm belief in the ideals that have been entrenched into our psyches by Neehar Giri and Kirk Krappe. Naturally, the exuberance that comes with working at the rocket ship transcends into the way we present ourselves to our clients. Forget your expensive watches, cars, and clothes: at the end of the day, our brand is the most important thing we own.
5. First impressions are key
At the rental car location I had to shave my face: Every. Single. Day. The reason? Simple, we had dozens of face-to-face interactions with customers every day. Our customer interactions set the tempo for the sales cycle. If a customer likes you from the get go, he or she will be most likely to buy from you now, tomorrow, and in the future. We must understand that first contact is key to developing a lifelong relationship. That means having a positive attitude on the phone, and letting the potential client understand that we are not here to swindle them for their money, but instead we are here to take their business and their careers to the next level!
6. When all else fails, smile
Sometimes, whenever an unruly customer would come across my branch, all I could do was politely smile and figure something out to turn their frown upside down. Smiling is a key factor that has helped humans differentiate friend from foe for thousands of years. Smiling makes the world go round. Smiling is the energy that makes the sun shine every morning. Smiling has helped end wars, and is the key to world peace. You get the point. Smiling is important. And even if you’re on the phone, when all else fails, SMILE!