International Door & Operator Industry

SEP-OCT 2012

Garage door industry magazine for garage door dealers, garage door manufacturers, garage door distributors, garage door installers, loading docks, garage door operators and openers, gates, and tools for the door industry.

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Page 56 of 132

SALES&MARKETING Coaching a Sales Team by Dan Apple Apple Marketing, LLC So you've grown your business to the point where you need to add more sales people. Great. All you need to do is fi nd a way to clone yourself, right? I mean since most garage door company owners had to become accomplished sales people in order to succeed in their business, you just need to hire sales people that know what you know about selling. That's easier said than done. No, building and managing a successful sales team takes time, patience and resources. However when it's done well the dividends to your company can be huge. Understanding the Mission The sales team is the "engine that pulls the train" in any business. Simply put, nothing happens until something is sold. Think about it. Your installers have nothing to install, your accounting people have nothing to bill, your dispatcher has nothing to schedule unless sales are made. That's why a company's success starts with its sales team. That's not say- ing that each department isn't equally important, it's just that the process starts with selling something. So the mission of your sales team is to provide profi t to your company's bottom line through the sales that they generate. That's right, the sales team doesn't just sell stuff, they initiate the profi t process which is the lifeblood of your business. 54 Coaching VS Managing Football season is here again. I think you will agree that the most successful teams are well coached. Managing a suc- cessful sales team is more about coaching than managing. I think of managing as mostly monitoring a process. Coaching is different. This is because coaching involves being actively involved with your people, and people need coaching in order to help them accomplish their goals. Remember, their goals are the same as your goals which is profi tability for your company. Think about it. Good coaches look for and hire great talent, provide instruction, defi ne player position assignments and set the overall game plan. Most importantly they support their players with the needed resources to win. You will continually assess each sales person's strengths and weaknesses in an effort to develop a seasoned, professional sales team. Catch them doing something right and give instant positive feedback. This will only encourage them to repeat the desired good behavior and let the player know that you are there to support them. To be successful you will need to develop a one on one relationship with each sales team member, one of trust and confi dence. Players play best for coaches they respect. Earning it is the key. International Door & Operator Industryâ„¢ Get Your Team Organized Selecting Your Players - As with any team you must have the right players. As the team's coach it's your job to get this done. In the garage door industry, selling requires a myriad of talents including technical ap- titude, organization and people skills. Like a football coach you can draft new talent from outside your company or you can develop players already on the team. Hiring experienced sales people from outside the organization may be an effective way to short circuit the training required to do the job IF they truly are seasoned sales profes- sionals. However there is the technical side of the garage door sales that will need to be learned. Just because your prospective hire did a good job selling cars or appli- ances, it may not translate to success with garage doors if he or she cannot grasp the technical aspect of the product. The other option would be to pro- mote someone from within. An installer, dispatcher maybe even an offi ce worker. What we see most in the industry is con- verting an installer to sales. The big leg up here is the technical understanding of the product. The big learning curve is teaching them to become a professional sales person. Both hiring options can prove successful but it will require a serious investment of your time to determine the

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