5 Reasons to Start Creating Content

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5 Reasons to Start Creating Content

When Es Curtis announced a "Guest Blogger” project she was organizing, I knew immediately that I wanted to contribute.

And it didn’t take long to decide which topic to blog about.

There is still so much debate about whether or not businesses should be creating content - but no matter what side you are on, you should be fully aware of these 5 Reasons to Start Creating Content today!

 
 

What do you think? Should businesses be creating content for their customers?


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Brad Telker
Vice President of Commercial Sales at cfm Distributors, Inc.

Brad joined the cfm team in 2006, and now as the Vice President of Commercial Sales, he focuses on business development, as well as helping contractors and engineers find creative and unique solutions to any size HVAC project. When he’s not at work, Brad enjoys photography, running and spending time with his family.


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It's the little things that keep your customers coming back for more

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It's the little things that keep your customers coming back for more

Here are 5 things you can do to keep your customer coming back for more.

Use people’s first name

Dale Carnegie said it best: "A person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound." 

People LOVE hearing their name.

So anytime you address someone, say their first name, and put a little emphasis on it. Make it the MOST important word in the sentence.

Avoid using “sir” or “ma’am” whenever possible. That tells the other person subconsciously that you don’t know their name. 

Have a hard time remembering names? Work harder on it. People would prefer that you remember their name over anything else you discussed in a casual conversation. 

"Thank you for the business!"

I recently hired a contractor to do some work at our house. After the work was done, I sent a text that a check was in the mail. The contractor's response was a simple “thanks”. 

I expected a little more than that. At least an exclamation point! 

Since that moment, I started paying attention to how other contractors and businesses thanked me. The next contractor we hired was extremely grateful for our business and explicitly said, "thank you for the business!"

It might seem like a minor difference, but this is SO important. Customers have unlimited choices of where to spend their hard earned money. After all your hard work to earn someone’s business, if all you say is "thanks", that might be the last time you hear from them. 

So be grateful, as you should be. Even with customers that are buying from you everyday, tell them as often as possible, "Thank you for your business!" 

Show empathy 

Say I’m sorry even if it’s not your fault. Show that you actually care. People just want to know that they are heard and that their problem or situation is being worked on. 

Admit fault

If it was your fault, admit it. CLEARLY. Say, “That was 100% my fault.” Your customer knows it’s your fault anyway, so just admit it. Then figure out how to fix the problem, and let your customer know once it is fixed. 

 
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Over communicate 

What is the number one reason why commercial buyers hate sales people? They are unresponsive, and they don't follow through or follow up. 

Don't lose business over something that isn't difficult. Over communicate.

If a quote is taking you longer than expected....shoot your customer a note "Still working on this. I should have it over tomorrow.”

If you get an email but you can’t get to the task quickly, reply back that you got the email and will get back to them soon. 

In most cases, your customer just wants to know that you are ALIVE and that you're working on their project. A quick email or text will suffice most of the time. 

If there is a major problem, pick up the phone and talk it over. 



How do YOU communicate to your customers to make sure they come back for more?


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Brad Telker
Vice President of Commercial Sales at cfm Distributors, Inc.

Brad joined the cfm team in 2006, and now as the Vice President of Commercial Sales, he focuses on business development, as well as helping contractors and engineers find creative and unique solutions to any size HVAC project. When he’s not at work, Brad enjoys photography, running and spending time with his family.




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If your sales aren’t growing, you are missing one of these 4 ingredients

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If your sales aren’t growing, you are missing one of these 4 ingredients

If your sales aren’t growing, you're probably missing one of these 4 ingredients. 

Vision

Can you vividly see where you are going as a sales person, or where your team or company is going? Are you hyper clear on your ideal customer? What type of business are you PASSING on? How are people talking about you in the industry? What tools or resources do you have at your disposal? How much fun are you having?

If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will get you there.

Strategy

Unlike solving for X in an algebra equation, there is never a single correct strategy for winning. Which is what makes sales and business so much fun.

But you have to pick SOME type of strategy and give it a shot. 

What are the MEASURABLE activities that you THINK will get you to your goal?

 
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Execution

Now comes the actual work. You have to execute. You have to DO the activities from step #2 (Strategy).

Metrics 

If you want to successfully grow sales, you HAVE to keep score. And you can't just focus on the LAG metrics (number of orders, revenue, gross profit). If those aren't moving in the right direction, it's too late. Instead, focus on the LEAD metrics (number of sales calls, number of quotes, value of quotes etc). If you’d like to learn more about this, we have a training document on this topic, which is based on the book “The 4 Disciplines of Execution”, and you can check it out here.

After a set period of time, if the LAG metrics aren’t moving, it’s time to change the LEAD activities (back to Strategy).

If you are unsure what strategy and activities will work best, ask for help! Ask your boss, find a mentor, read some sales or business books. 

Do you have all 4 ingredients in place?


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Brad Telker
Vice President of Commercial Sales at cfm Distributors, Inc.

Brad joined the cfm team in 2006, and now as the Vice President of Commercial Sales, he focuses on business development, as well as helping contractors and engineers find creative and unique solutions to any size HVAC project. When he’s not at work, Brad enjoys photography, running and spending time with his family.


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How the best sales teams bring meaning to work and life

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How the best sales teams bring meaning to work and life

Sales can be a grind. 

Tons of ups: winning huge deals, making new friends, finally earning the trust of a prospect...

Lots of downs: long days, problems that won’t ever go away, too may emails and unreturned phone calls, daily rejection...

What keeps the BEST sales teams going? 

Compensation is important, but it’s not everything. In fact, plenty of research has shown that making a difference in the lives of others, for example, is more important than pay.

 
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In "The Leadership Challenge”, authors James Kouzes and Barry Posner reveal their research on what specifically brings people meaning to their work and life. 

What they discovered is that people desire:

  • Integrity: Pursuing values and goals congruent with their own
  • Purpose: Making a significant difference in the lives of others
  • Challenge: Doing innovative work
  • Growth: Learning and developing professionally and personally 
  • Belonging: Engaging in close and positive relationships 
  • Autonomy: Determining the course of their own lives
  • Significance: feeling trusted and validated 

If you are a sales manager or a leader in your company, are you helping to fulfill these desires for your team? 

If you are in the trenches working directly with customers, how does this list stack up with your company or the team that you work on?

Finally- what is ONE thing you can do to improve ONE of these areas in your organization? 


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Brad Telker
Vice President of Commercial Sales at cfm Distributors, Inc.

Brad joined the cfm team in 2006, and now as the Vice President of Commercial Sales, he focuses on business development, as well as helping contractors and engineers find creative and unique solutions to any size HVAC project. When he’s not at work, Brad enjoys photography, running and spending time with his family.

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How to create explosive innovation within your sales team

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How to create explosive innovation within your sales team

“We have a problem”.

Once a month Craig Groeschel releases a Leadership podcast. Most of his episodes are great, but this one really hit home for me.

If you are in business or sales in ANY capacity, this is a phrase you probably hear A LOT.

It might come from your customer, a technician, a manufacturer, or maybe a sales person that reports to you. 

It’s time to get EXCITED when you hear this phrase. 

When you hear “Hey we have a problem”, the first thought should be a "light bulb moment" that it might be the beginning of an innovation. 

Here is Groeschel's four step process to having explosive innovation, which of course ALWAYS starts with “We have a problem.”

You need a problem to solve

Before you have explosive innovation, you NEED a problem to solve. Nothing innovative happens without a problem. Train your brain to get excited when you hear about a new problem. That means it’s time to learn and innovate. 

You need limited resources 

If you have unlimited resources, the solution will not be innovative. Adding another person to your team, for example, might help customer response time, but it’s not scalable. You might have solved a short term problem, but you’re not being innovative. 

 
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You need a willingness to fail 

Elon Musk says it well: “If things are not failing, you are not innovating enough.”

Enough said. 

You need a crazy idea 

Most people speed through the day without ANY downtime to relax, debrief or to think of new ideas. Plan time during each day to think about your biggest problems. If you are having trouble thinking of ideas, check out this article on how to build your idea muscle.

When all FOUR of these steps come together, you have a high likelihood of innovation.

But without a doubt, you NEED a problem to solve. So if you want to be innovative, you need to get excited when you hear, “Hey, we have a problem.”


Head Shot Smaller Crop.jpg

Brad Telker
Vice President of Commercial Sales at cfm Distributors, Inc.

Brad joined the cfm team in 2006, and now as the Vice President of Commercial Sales, he focuses on business development, as well as helping contractors and engineers find creative and unique solutions to any size HVAC project. When he’s not at work, Brad enjoys photography, running and spending time with his family.


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