How Easy Can Your Customers Buy From You?

Here’s a screen shot of my personal delivery coming to me this morning from Amazon Now.  I ordered at 6:00am online for same-day delivery, selected my delivery window, and a window opened up with live tracking of my order on the vehicle as it approaches my home.  I selected a 8-10am time slot and now at 8:40am as it gets close I received a text update.

Is it easier for your customer to buy Keurig refills, or in my case–a watch, than it is that last unit of 2X4’s?

Or how about placing an order on your portal?

Or reaching a friendly customer service representative quickly?

The big boys in most industries are getting a lot of things right, a lot of things righted, and a lot of things right now.

Questions for you:

  1. Are you going to invest to catch up?
  2. Package and market yourself for acquisition?
  3. Or do nothing and disappear?
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Today Matters by John Maxwell

I’m not sure why I’ve had John Maxwell’s book Today Matters for 13 years and hadn’t read it. Obviously I missed the clear message in the title…

I’m about to finish it today and I’m not sure what John would say, but I think this must be near the top of his most important work ever. The reinforcements are powerful and worth sharing here.

In the book, John provides twelve-daily practices to help each of us seize the day and covers areas such as controlling your daily agenda, making time for people you love, and finding success in your career. In each chapter John shares a “decision” that he’s committed to that helps each day matter:

1. Today’s ATTITUDE Gives Me Possibilities

2. Today’s PRIORITIES Give Me Focus

3. Today’s HEALTH Gives Me Strength

4. Today’s FAMILY Gives Me Stability

5. Today’s THINKING Gives Me an Advantage

6. Today’s COMMITMENT Gives Me Tenacity

7. Today’s FINANCES Give Me Options

8. Today’s FAITH Gives Me Peace

9. Today’s RELATIONSHIPS Give Me Fulfillment

10. Today’s GENEROSITY Gives Me Significance

11. Today’s VALUES Give Me Direction

12. Today’s GROWTH Gives Me Potential

Whether you’re seeking more structure to your daily pursuits in life’s journey, looking for inspiration to turn a corner, or simply becoming the best “you” that you can be…I really recommend this book.

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The Next Generation Beyond Consultative Sellers

Two great minds in the building materials industry are Mark Mitchell, the principal of Whizard Strategy, and Devon Tilly, creator of The Art of Construction podcast.  They drive the same theme when it comes to the selling expertise and behavior needed today. Both write or podcast on the value of the “Trusted Advisor” as opposed to a “sales rep.” You can check out their ideas about this at Whizard Strategy Blog or Art of Construction Show 73. In fact, Devon’s other company, Mountain View Window & Door in Denver has a full team of Trusted Advisors.

Early in my selling career, I thought I was the walking model of a consultative seller. I had been trained while at Andersen Windows on how to avoid “feature dumping” and start with asking questions to establish needs. I asked questions like “What types of projects is your company most known for?” “What do you find difficult obtaining from other suppliers?” And “If you could define your perfect window supplier, what would it be and do?” And I taught others how do sell this way too.

It all worked at that time because many sales people just walked into a prospect’s office and threw up all over the desk with everything they wanted “tell,” but failed to learn what the customer wanted to “know.” I was different because I asked questions.

And so I totally applaud the “Trusted Advisor” approach and more importantly, genuine goal of learning enough about your product, your trade, your competitors, and construction practices to in fact “advise” your customer on what they should do.

I sat across the desk once with Jeff Banker, the owner of Banker Insulation with over a dozen locations throughout the West and spoke with him on this topic. He told me “if I had a nickel for every time a sales rep has sat in that same chair and asked, ‘What’s the major problem that I could help you address,’ I couldn’t count them all.” He said to me “If I knew, I’d already have fixed it.”

Of course, that’s the true essence of The Challenger Sale. Challenger Sales companies develop solutions and train their sales people to KNOW what the best companies in that space do, what the best practices are, the best products, methods etc., and they identify where customers could plug in that new information to make their own business better.

Trusted Advisers and Challenger Sales reps share this trait. They don’t ask customers what keeps them up at night. They tell customers what SHOULD be keeping them up at night and how to fix or avoid it.

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