At my company, we are right in the middle of building and
developing a new office showroom. To be successful with such an
undertaking, you need a great deal of effort from a great number of
people. Indeed, the success that I am expecting can be attributed
to everyone in our company, because the process directly affects
the entire staff. The overall effect on our employees so far has
been a positive one, and it’s what we’re after in the long run.
In fact, what we’re experiencing during this transition is
positive because of the way our people are perceiving the changes.
People who either work for you or with you must be a part of the
process to make things successful. Sales success starts
I believe in all of our
people both individually and collectively. If you don’t have
confidence in the people who work with or for you, you will never
enjoy maximum success.
When I teach attitudinal characteristics of business, I always
ask eight questions. The first two must be answered “yes” for
The first question is “Do you like the company you work for?”
Unless employees like the company they work for, their chances for
success are limited. If they don’t like the company they work for,
all they’re doing is limiting their opportunity for success and
paralyzing the company’s ability to be successful.
The next question is “Do you like your job description?” Our
culture seems to be full of people who don’t like their jobs. How
can success be obtained by a person who doesn’t like his or her
So, the challenge here is this: How can an organization convince
its employees that each employee’s individual success is reliant on
the success of the others? How can a salesperson be successful if
the accounting department, the delivery people and the installers
Success is limited when we operate alone, but limitless when our
sales skills are synergized with the other necessary skills
operating at a high level. Sales success in the marketplace depends
on every employee selling each other on the idea that sales success
starts inside an organization.
The success we expect isn’t just dependent on the sales/design
persons. Success is dependent on every person involved in the
process believing in the concept, believing that they are important
and that the tasks expected of them need to be performed at the
Now, how do we accomplish this? Here are some ideas.
- Sell others in you company on the idea of being successful. Be
a mentor and encourage everyone to do it the right way the first
time. A major part of this is making sure that people are asked to
accomplish tasks they are capable of doing by providing the right
training and tools.
- Adopt the attitude that not only is change possible, it’s part
of the success process. Therefore, encourage change.
- Reinforce employees’ successes with positive reinforcement. Say
“thank you,” “I appreciate that,” “you did a good job,” “you have
been excellent help.” These are old phrases, but they haven’t gone
out of style. Often, we are so busy that we forget the fundamentals
of positive attitudinal development. As a result, the employee’s
contributions become expected and go without positive
reinforcement. Don’t let that happen.
- Make sure the profits of being successful are fairly
distributed among those who create the success. Once everyone
believes in success, makes success happen and shares in the
benefits of success, you will have developed a power that your
competition will be hard-pressed to overcome.
There are other, more specific ways sales/designers must create
their sales success starting on the inside. Possessing or
developing selling skills is a must.
I believe that, while you might be a great designer, a great
design still has to be sold. I have also found most talented
designers have so much passion about their designs that they are
pretty good salespeople. On the other hand there are a lot of good
salespeople who just haven’t learned and developed their design
skills. Regardless of which one of these descriptions best fits
you, your success begins with developing both your design and sales
skills to fit your circumstances.
You also must constantly be acquiring and keeping pace with
product and industry knowledge. A major differential between the
qualifications of designers/salespeople is knowledge.
I often refer to the “three ring binder comfort level” and the
importance it plays in confidence in front of the consumer. I know
that, if I understand the manufacturer’s information provided in
the company’s three ring binder when I am working with prospects,
my ability to develop value, to be creative and to solve customer
needs, my opportunity to close the sale rises. When I don’t have
this confidence, my ability to earn the business is greatly
The process of skill development is an inside process. It takes
time, and it may require a financial investment but, most of all,
it takes an attitude of “I want to learn.”
An area often overlooked in creating the success of your job is
teamwork, or maybe better put, partnership. The words teamwork and
partnership are easy to articulate and are used so often we that
tend to believe they exist without our putting our effort into
Earlier, I mentioned that our success is dependent on the skills
and cooperation of others. Their success is also dependent on how
you fit into their lives with your skills and attitude. Make sure
you are a contributor to the partnership for success. This requires
a conscious effort in making sure that teamwork exists. If you
cannot earn a place in the teamwork scheme for success, you will be
isolated from the necessary skills to make you successful. In order
to earn a spot on your team, you can’t be just a taker. In fact,
you must invest your contributions first.
Should you want to set yourself apart from your competitor,
start on the inside with yourself and your team. Then, your outside
appearance will not only attract prospects, it will create