Sales tips for the aspiring rock star!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Why Sales Professionals Will Get Through These Challenging Times!

Short answer coming at you in 3, 2, 1 . . . Because too many people simply don’t get it!

Get what? The simple, no brainer aspects of communication, service, follow up. Think I’m oversimplifying? Then read on my friend!

I put a services wanted thread up on my Linkedin group looking for a car service in the NY area. Someone responds quickly. I tell them I need a service to pick me up at the airport 3 x’s per month and also need a stretch limo round trip for a family vacation I was planning. He gets back to me in a timely manner, so far, so good. The price is higher than what I was paying, but I wasn’t happy with the service I had so I was willing to pay more. He doesn’t give me a quote on the stretch limo so I send an email back regarding that and a quick question about the car service and guess what? The dude goes MIA on me. Nothing, nada, zip!

A friend of mine reaches out to local photography studio and speaks to a sales rep regarding a photo shoot for his website. The rep is heading into a meeting and promises to call him back. 2 days go by and nothing. Must have been a hell of a long meeting, huh? My friend shoots him an email (he’s a patient soul because I would have just called one of the other 10,000 photographers) asking when they can chat and never hears back.

One of my teammates at Consolidated Graphics just brought in a new account with a sizable company. Upon getting her first order she was told “Can you believe your local competitor told me I would have the quote on Thursday. Thursday came and went and they never returned my calls after that?” Yes folks, another M.I.A. sales rep who’s photo will no doubt appear on the back of a milk carton in the weeks to come under the heading “Have you seen this Asshole?”
So in spite of probably one of the worst economic climates this country has seen in decades, in spite of the price wars, the layoffs, the option of folks bypassing us by going on the Internet, there still are jackasses in the midst? Say it isn’t so?

Sounds too painfully simple to be true. Doesn’t it?

What to do? What to do?

Well for starters if you employ someone like that, remove them immediately and hire one of the many displaced professionals out there that might be more worthy of the position. At the very least I would tar and feather the son of a bitch. Actually, that might be an HR issue so at a minimum, you remove “Rainman” from your inbound lead program!

If you or someone you love suffers from “I’m not sure if I can make it itus” this is your fuel for picking up the phone. Statistically speaking it’s a matter of time before you hit pay dirt. You might want to cut and paste the following and keep it by your phone:

Everyday . . .
A new business is born that requires your product or service.
A business wants to grow and they need your help.
A sales rep goes M.I.A. leaving an orphaned account for the taking.
A business moves into your area finding it easier to deal with a local company.
A new buyer joins the company looking to make a name for themselves.
That old buyer who used to tell you “No!” may have left.
A vendor drops the ball creating an opening for you.
A vendor gets complacent creating opportunity for you.
A rep fails to offer an idea that you have that could impact your prospect’s business.
A buyer just doesn’t like their rep.
A buyer hates the buying process with their vendor.
A buyer wants to deal with someone who isn’t just about the commission check.
A buyer feels like they are over paying for what they are getting.
A rep misses a deadline
A rep fails to communicate properly giving you an opening.
A company needs the benefits of your offering to help them streamline their process.
A buyer wishes they could find a vendor that would “get it right the first time”.
A referral from an existing account is there for the taking
A “low ball” company can’t sustain quality
A sales rep gets caught in a lie to a customer losing credibility
A vendor implements some stupid, non customer friendly policy
A vendor raises their price making the buyer reevaluate the situation
Somebody's client becomes FED UP!

Our job, ladies and gentlemen is to find these people!

This is your wake up call to get back in the fight and cash in on some statistics that are stacked quite favorably in your corner!
Pass this along to your network. It's time to get some positive Chi back in the cubicles!
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  1. Nice kick in the ass to get this wonderful day off to a productive start Paul

  2. Paul, Now that's what I'm talking about! Amen. I have just told several who will attend your boot camp that you will stress the service aspect over and over. Its what I have built my reputation on - availability, ability and affability and SERVICE over and beyond expectations! Its all about doing what you say you will do and when you say you will do it and being at the right place at the right time when someone else drops the ball!
    Happy Sales!

  3. I guess this is the whup and the ass being combined. Great post and great way for me to start my day. Thanks Paul!

  4. Paul, it just blows my mind that business people can operate like that. It's so easy to stand out from "competition" like that - so perhaps they do have a reason to be on Earth. They make go-getters like us - look like superstars!
    Thank you for the post -
    Have a great day!

    Neil Wood - Hingham, Mass.

  5. Paul, you are like the coach in RUDY! u go GIRL!

  6. Thanks for the kind words all!
    Rock on!

  7. I love it !! Fantastic post Paul , always enjoy reading yours.


  8. I am amazed that it is such a simple concept yet so many sales professionals do not know how to follow up and expect the clients to come chasing them. I guess that is one of the key things theat sperates between sales people and professional sales reporesetatives.
    Thank you for sharing it with all of us

  9. Too Funny! I would like to showcase the last couple months of my life to highlight your point... I recently started work on a lake house and here is where the fun began.

    - Called a contractor, drive two hours to meet them and they told me they could not wait to get started and had a clear schedule. 6 Weeks later he never returned a call, email, or anything and I am now using one of the "top competitors" he mentioned when we first talked. In tough times I would think they would jump at the chance!

    - Needed to get the lawn cut, so following common sense I called three local landscaping companies. I left once voicemail saying I need it cut ASAP and to call me so I could give them my billing details - no response. I talked with one, gave him the address of the property and told him the same thing that I would like it cut ASAP and to call me back for billing details - nothing. It took a third call to a vendor to finally take my money!!!

    I just find it refreshing that I am not the only one in amazement of other peoples inability to do their jobs.

  10. Paul-

    There are sales people, who I would refer to as "professionals", and then there are "order takers". I'm constantly amazed by the non-sales types who think that sales people have "cushy", "easy" jobs; 4 hour lunches, golf every day, you know the drill. If ONLY it were so!

    The only good thing about market corrections, like the one we are currently experiencing, is that the "wheat generally gets separated from the chaff" in the sales profession. There are people who call themselves "sales people" who do great dishonor to our profession and need to go do something else less taxing...


  11. Why don't people realize that the service they provide is often the only differentiator between them and their competition.

    Because service is so bad in many places (read above), it doesn't take that much to rise above everyone else and look like the hero.

    Paul, if you're still looking for a limo company, let me know, I'll connect you to a company on LI that I personally trained to provide outstanding service to their customers.

  12. Liked this a lot! A perfect kick start to the morning better than any coffee that I ever had

  13. I actually felt guilty the other day. After a meeting with a potential client, he sent me a text thanking me for a great meeting. I should have been the first one to send that text. Not him. Reminded me of the importance of the follow-up.

  14. Lots of great feedback! As we can see by the many comments on this subject we have lots of opportunity to shine each and every day. We need to take full advantage of that and leverage the statistics. Lots of opportunity out there. We just need to find it!
    An enthusiastic rock horns to all of you!

  15. I have always felt that when things are slow, people get lazy. They have accepted in their mind that there are no sales opportunities available. Great reminder!


  16. Very true Scott!

    Thanks for stopping by!


  17. Thanks Paul. I have forwarded this to my reps. Great stuff!


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Paul Castain is the Vice President of Sales Development for Consolidated Graphics (CGX) one of North America’s leading general commercial printing companies. Paul has over 25 years of sales and sales leadership experience. He has trained, mentored and coached over 3,000 sales and sales leadership professionals. An accomplished public speaker, Paul has delivered numerous key note addresses. He has authored numerous training manuals, articles, blog posts and is currently working on his first book for release in 2011. Feel free to email Paul This has been a paid announcement by the friends of Paul Castain!

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