SMT007 Magazine

SMT-Dec2016

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December 2016 • SMT Magazine 25 tacts?!? The good news is they need me, and I can help. Next, I asked for a copy of the .pst file of the person impersonating a salesperson's email box. A few tense conversations about privacy later, I was rewarded with a gigabyte or so of data. One quick and dirty app, several days of Excel magic, and some manual effort later, I had 800 names and email addresses of customers. Sev- eral more days of sleuthing and sorting later, I had 300 new people to add to our database. My shoulders are recovering. Note to all: No POs yet. Remember, POs are the second floor. We're still building our foundation. I had noticed in my travels around the office the many manila job folders. I couldn't help myself, and I peaked at a few after everyone was gone. Lo and behold, what to my wondering eyes should appear, but another treasure trove of information. I recruited an intern for three days, sent the results through the research mill, and voila: 250 more people in our database. While all this sleuthing was going on, I was preaching from the 'put everything in the da- tabase pulpit,' and that netted another 50 peo- ple. If you are counting, we are now up to 600. I am happy. Remember, we started with just 195 and quickly found that 155 of those didn't pass muster. By the way, while we were getting this done, my research staff had discovered 300 or so folks with whom we had previously done busi- ness, who were now at new companies. Do you think I added them to the database as leads? I sure did. Just like that, three weeks later, we had near- ly 1,000 people to reach out to, to ask for busi- ness. Just having all this information in one place was a big accomplishment, but once you plant a database, it needs constant attention. Why? People move around, they advance, they change companies; and those folks are your po- tential 'ins' with new companies. Now that you have this shiny new database filled with great information, it needs to be continuously up- dated so that it remains current. As you might expect, we started that task in the background, and it will remain an ongoing background task. (Sort of like the pilot who walks around his air- plane before every flight, even though he just did it yesterday!) If this is not done, your data- base will quickly become sloppy and stale. Pic- ture a beautifully-carved Halloween pumpkin, two weeks after Halloween. Not a very attrac- tive decoration for the front porch. Closing comments on the sales database: Keep it fresh, use it daily, and get buy-in from those who use it—even if you have to beat them. It doesn't matter what tool you use, from Microsoft Excel to salesforce.com (my favorite). One advantage to a cloud-based tool like sales- force.com is that you can access it from any- where. Oh, and one more thing. I have a tool- box full of answers to, and solutions for, people in the organization that are "too busy" to en- ter data in the database. Being too busy to enter new data is like being too busy to stop and add gas to your gas tank. Foundation Pillar #2: Face-to-Face does NOT Mean Looking in the Mirror I will admit, I am bewildered by any organi- zation big or small that does not embrace the opportunity to see customers face to face. I am sure many books quote statistics illustrating the effectiveness of face-to-face versus all oth- er forms of communication. I have decided for myself that face-to-face is 1,378.5 times better. Possibly even 1,378.9. I once had a jr. salesperson working one of our accounts. His name was Eager Beaver Eddie. He was a bright, wonderful, energetic young man, full of excitement, yet unbruised by years of sales rejections. As I often did, I wandered over to his cube, and in rapid-fire questions, asked, "Eddie, what are you doing? Who are you emailing? How is it going?" With bright- eyed enthusiasm, he reported, "I'm emailing Joe at Super Best Widgies company." Unfor- SALES: A.K.A., TRENCH WARFARE! " I am sure many books quote statistics illustrating the effective- ness of face-to-face versus all other forms of communication. "

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