Inside copier dealerships, the major accounts department often represents the largest growth opportunity for most dealerships. However, VPs of sales and major account sales managers are becoming silently frustrated. So much potential inside our major account department, so much opportunity – stalled and squandered.
Then something happens. Other reps become frustrated. These “bleep – bleep” major account copier reps are holding onto accounts that they aren’t growing or they don’t even call on, but they hang onto them “just in case.”
The time is now. Time to open Pandora’s Box. We can no longer sweep these actions under the sales rug and pretend they don’t exist. What may have seemed small or innocent over the years has now turned out to be severely detrimental to sales growth with far-reaching negative consequences inside your sales departments.
The Real Story Inside Major Account Departments
When you started in the industry you didn’t set out with the goal of hanging on, doing enough to just get by, or riding it by figuring out how to survive until you can inherit another sales rep’s accounts. Well, at least not in the beginning, correct?
You learned that mindset. You learned that behavior. You learned to settle.
I am positive the mind can be convinced of almost anything if you tell it the same story over and over again. So here lies the question to all major account copier reps, VPs of sales, major account sales managers, and dealer principals? Are you really happy with average results or have you just convinced yourself that’s the case?
Yes, we are all feeling the pressure. The pressure from our manufacturers, pressure from our clients and pressure from our competition. I am a firm believer this pressure is self-induced and it has been brewing for years.
You are under pressure due to one word: complacency
What Causes Complacency?
The real issue inside major account copier sales departments stem from these three things:
Neglect of their LinkedIn profiles: When your LinkedIn profile offers no clear path for visitors (your prospects or clients), that’s the exact impression you give about you and your ability to help their business. You’re affecting their thought process.
With nearly every business transaction in the United States today starting out as an online search or visit to a website, how much business are you potentially missing out on because your LinkedIn profile has a broken window? When referring to “nearly every transaction,” that’s because “89% of B2B transactions begin online”, according to Google research.
Now, go ahead and take a look at your LinkedIn profile and ask yourself: Would I buy from me based on what I currently see on my LinkedIn profile? If the answer is NO, then I urge you to ask yourself, “What am I doing to repair the cracks within my LinkedIn profile?”
Live off machines in field (MIF): Congratulations! You have outwitted, outsmarted, and outlasted most sales reps inside your dealership to inherit the fruits of their labor. I know not all exude these behaviors, but you get my drift, right?
You can’t expect 100 percent of your MIF to flip in any given year. Sure, managing a lease portfolio is part of what we need to do but not the main thing we should be doing. You must take into consideration a deal getting pushed or, even worse, losing an account.
I encourage all major account copier reps to give thought to this: If you lost any one of your top five accounts, how would you get to your budget number? Major account reps must always be on the look-out for new opportunities as you never know what may happen. This means we must ALWAYS BE PROSPECTING!
Losing a major account sucks. I get it as it has happened to me. A healthy relationship funnel and a healthy major account sales funnel sure takes the sting away.
Here’s the deal. You didn’t get to where you are at by being average. So why are you sitting back, cruising month over month managing lease ends? Where is the hustle? Where is drive? Remember back to when you first started, you worked your ass off.
What would you do if in 2017 you had no MIF to flip? How would you get to your budget number? Scary thought, huh? As a major account copier rep, building your credibility and leveraging your network are two great places to start.
Failure to go wide and deep in current accounts: If I had a dollar for every time I heard major account copier reps utter these words, “I have great relationships inside my accounts. Don’t worry about it I own this account they aren’t going anywhere,” I would be a freaking millionaire. Then KABOOM! The account is pulled right out from underneath their complacent nose.
In one of your current major accounts, how many people do you truly know? Of course, we want to stay close to the key decision makers, but what about the influencers, stakeholders, department heads, lower level management and even the gatekeepers?
The more you know the more you grow. You never know who knows somebody who knows somebody (your competition). Your network is your net worth! Failure to spend the time to truly build effective relationships with your major accounts is a long-term recipe for disaster.
All too often, relationships with major accounts are too shallow and narrow. Lease contracts are signed and the end users are trained but few relationships are developed outside of the day-to-day contacts. Sometimes this works, but most of the time it’s a highly risky proposition. What happens if your only contact leaves the company? You’re likely left with no advocate and no additional relationships within the account. Plain and simple: You are at risk of losing them as a customer.
When you are at risk this starts to happen at all levels inside your dealership.
There Is No Substitute for Busting Ass
Sales is a numbers game with any industry. If you’re not consistently hitting your budget number, there can be a clear reason why. Be extremely honest with yourself. Find your weaknesses and work like never before to improve them. Squash the complacent behavior. I encourage you all to stop resting on your laurels.
I encourage you all to do something which will blow your sales manager’s mind. Ask for help. Even Tiger Woods needs a swing coach. When was the last time you humbled yourself enough to ask for help? It’s a sign of strength and maturity, not vulnerability and weakness.
Throughout our history, ego might be one of the largest causes for the downfall of men, organizations, and even countries. Don’t let it hold back your sales career.
This article originally appeared in Larry Levine’s blog on LinkedIn. You can read more of his posts at http://www.socialsalesacademy.net/blog/.