8 Know the different buyers you might or will be selling to (user, buyer, technical, finance, etc.). Know the different questions each type of buyer will ask, and know how to answer those questions. Never neglect the degree of influence any of these buyers have.
9 Good sales people ask open-ended questions not closed-ended leading questions. Open-ended questions allow you to get more information for the customer.
10 Strategy is the single most neglected element in selling today. Strategy is key, and a good strategy can be learned. Take the time to develop the best, most successful strategy, and then take the time to teach it to your team.
Contract Sweepers: Put Safety Training into Practice
Jim Green of the Alamo Group focused on sweeping safety in “Sweeper Safety and Operating Techniques that Protect Operators – And Your Business,” one of three sessions available free to members of the North American Power Sweeping Association.
Green said that because sweeping contractors work in environments where safety is important, all members of a sweeping team should be aware of safety practices including maintenance and operation.
Green said there are three tiers of safety: Good, safe equipment; an operator’s manual; and training. “All people are important to the success of the business,” Green said, so all employees should be following safe business practices. “You have to trust and respect the people you work with so you can count on them.”
Green suggests contractors follow the “tell, show, do, review” approach. Tell your employees what proper operation and safety practices are. Show them those methods. Ask them to do the methods themselves. And then review the entire process with them. Most people learn differently, some visual, some audio, and some hands-on. A combination of these teaching methods can help ensure everyone is learning in the way they prefer. Plus, it’s not often you can just tell someone to do something new and they do it right the first time.
It’s not easy to change habits, but Green says behavior can be managed. The “tell, show, do, review” method can help mold desired behaviors in your employees, enforcing seat belt use, for example.
Safe operation starts with proper maintenance checks. Green suggests that a written check of the equipment should be completed every day. A pre-operation maintenance check is essential so no unsafe equipment is being sent on a job. It can be helpful to also do a post-operation maintenance check. These checks allow operators and the maintenance crew to compare how the equipment was working before the day started to how it is working after the work day is complete.
If you’re sending your crews out on unsafe equipment, proper safety practices may not prevent accidents or unsafe conditions. Make sure equipment is in good, safe working condition and operators know and practice safe operation.