If you think being a good salesperson involves dropping in on customers without calling first, you’re doing it all wrong, says Rick Davis of Building Leaders Inc., who gave the keynote address on strategies for increasing sales at last week’s summer meeting of the Northeast Window & Door Association in Vernon, N.J.

Rick Davis of Davis of Building Leaders Inc., gave the keynote address at last week’s summer meeting of the Northeast Window & Door Association in Vernon, N.J.
Rick Davis of Building Leaders Inc., gave the keynote address at last week’s summer meeting of the Northeast Window & Door Association in Vernon, N.J. (Photo by Bob Nyman)

Davis’ presentation was based on one of his white papers, “Sales Leadership Up & Down the Chain of Command,” which you can read here (page opens as a pdf).

Davis spent a lot of time discussing the power of sales appointments — and how visiting a client without setting one up first can be a sales killer.

“Don’t let your salespeople show up unannounced to your dealer offices,” he said. “It’s an insult. And they do it all the time. A salesperson who can’t schedule an appointment hasn’t created enough value. Dealers can’t stand salespeople just showing up to shoot the breeze, to be their friend. Friendship is not the foundation of a good business relationship – good business is the foundation of a good business relationship.”

Davis said annual goals can create excuses for a sales staff, while short-term action goals create a sense of purpose — and habits that you can measure.

He also said salespeople should be constantly chasing down prospects.

“Prospecting is not a three-hour thing you do every week,” Davis said. “You do it in three-minute bursts all the time. I want you to teach your people to meet someone new every day. Modern marketing is one name at a time, and talking to each of those people one at a time.”

Davis also said you can’t differentiate yourself in the door and window industry based on products, because they’re so similar. The differentiation is customer service and knowledge.

He said the difference between sales mediocrity and sales superstardom can be summed up in two words – calendar management.

Finally, he talked about the importance of leadership and how the best leaders praise people for doing good work while striving to help them do their jobs better.

“Leadership is not a title on a business card,” Davis said. “Leadership is credibility.”

Davis  is a nationally recognized sales trainer in the construction industry. He’s the author of Strategic Sales in the Building Industry and The Sales Secret. His next book, Friends Beggars and Blue Suede Shoes, will be available soon.

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