The ancient Greeks had a phrase to describe a common malady: to rest on your laurels.
Laurel wreaths were symbols of victory and status. But once a victor won his prize, the temptation was to stop growing and achieving. Stop striving and start resting. Resting on one’s laurels is not considered at all a praiseworthy strategy—it suggests a decline into laziness and lack of application.
All the drive and passion that pushes a person to begin a career journey can diminish. I have put in the time, effort, “blood, sweat, and tears” over 21 years in sales and different businesses and have achieved top-notch sales skills. I have the accolades and awards, the “salesman of the month” plaques and certificates. But there have been times when I felt the temptation to just rest in my achievements. Time for a change!
A New Challenge
I have been given the opportunity to develop a training program for our sales team to grow. E2green just recently expanded and opened an office in Minneapolis, Minnesota. As I began the process to develop the training course, all the memories from my trips all over the country to different sales seminars and presentations came rushing back to me like a giant wave. My brain was flooded with a sea of information. The challenge switched from absorbing information and putting into practice to passing the knowledge and skills on to others and, more than that, to develop a team that works together.
Together as a team our sales people have a little bit of every aspect of sales that one can imagine. The diversity of experience and skills is a blessing. My challenge is to bring them all together and coach them into a highly functioning team of Commercial LED Lighting Sales Reps.
I searched YouTube for tips and pointers on how to do this. I watched some stuff to see if I have been left out in the cold since my last Zig Ziglar seminar. After a while it dawned on me that these videos weren’t sharing any new profound knowledge or any trade secrets that I hadn’t already practiced in years past. It was time to coach others to sell well.
Time to Coach
We had a two-day training window and I wanted to make an impact. I need my trainees to “always look up” wherever they go, and when the conversation about lighting needs to be had they need to get excited. I want them to become LED nerds . . . like me. LED Lighting makes me happy, it is a simple thing, but it is changing the world as we have known it. I get to speak to business customers daily and provide them with something that they all need. E2green takes pride in providing our customers with the best quality solutions that meets their business needs.
Step One: Provide information and knowledge.
Time to explain the difference between kelvin temps, wattages, identifying existing systems and proposed solutions, clear or frosted lens, rebates, kwh, etc. Understanding precedes passion.
Step Two: Review the Sales Process
I created a 15-page PowerPoint and started with the customer sales cycle. The training comprised of so many things I have learned to be successful through the years. Reviewing the process was like hitting the gym again for me and exercising sales muscles that I had forgotten I had. I took some things for granted and skipped steps in the process that I have known for years. Over time with all the successes that I was having, I started taking short cuts because LED lights sometimes sell themselves. Reviewing the Sales Process with a skilled team invigorated our discussion.
Step Three: Model
Actions speak louder than words. Information is one thing but attitude and character are caught and not taught. Teaching sales staff to be humble and take the time to develop a business relationship with each customer we touch is the most valuable thing. It is about the building of relationships and long-term customer service. So, on top of the LED 101 knowledge that we drilled over and over, I had the opportunity to discuss with them how we do things differently than our competitors. Then we did it together.
There is a myriad of companies that offer LED lighting solutions and electrical services. The e2green approach is different. We teach our team to make it personal. We are developing partnerships with all our customers. We have developed a sales team and a service division that reflects our values. The reviews, and call-in thank you messages, and the cards we have received from our customers let us know that this is more than just business for us, it is personal. We take pride and get excited with every new opportunity we get to serve the public and our customers.
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