“I would ask myself, ‘SELF, why are these customers in my territory not buying from my company anymore?’” ~Lisa Kean
What do you say when a prospect tells you they do not need another distributor?
Lisa: I have had a lot of people say that to me, but I tell them that anybody can come in and punch in an order, but you want somebody who’s going to work with you, help you, and give you creative ideas… and really go the extra mile. I ask them to give me a chance and more times than not, they will give me the opportunity to show them what I’ve got.
That’s when I really go into full-blown cook it up mode because I’m going to research as many recipes and items as I can and cook things and take things in. Or I will ask if they will be working say, Thursday at lunch, if yes, I may ask if they will allow me to come in and cook them lunch. Maybe I have a great pulled pork that I want to make them a sandwich with, and I assure them I will only need a few minutes and will work around their staff.
What about when they say they used to buy from your company, and they have a reason for leaving them?
Lisa: I actually like to look back at previous customers of my company who no longer are active, and I want to know why.
I go in and ask why they no longer buy from us and how can I help. The company is only as good as the person representing them. I tell them that I am their new rep and I have a different perspective. I ask them to let me represent their account and make things different than their past experience was. I am a hard worker, motivated, and will do whatever it takes, like our company pledge says.
I must sell them on me more than on the company because of whatever their previous experience, I have to prove to them they can trust me and show them I really care and can make a difference. My company could do everything right, every moment every day, but it still won’t be good enough if they don’t trust me, want to work with me, and like me.
I ultimately won back around 80% of all the customers we had lost in my area previously. Some of the 20% were just not viable because either I could not make enough money off them or my company could not, so I just walked away from those.
When you have a prospect you’re calling on and you’ve done the market research, done your investigations/homework, and want them, but they are still NOT buying from you, do you ever give up on them?
Lisa: Never. Because if you take all the time and effort to plant the seeds, and it starts to grow, you need to see it fully through until it blooms. You can “tell” them all you want about how good you are, and you have a 50-50 chance, but it is when you “show” them time and time again, that is when you win them over.
- I put them on my every other week calls and ALWAYS have something in my hand for them when I go in.
- When the pandemic hit, I started ordering sanitizer pens, filling them, and attaching them to my business card, plus I would give them to all the wait staff.
- I also bought buckets, small bottles of bleach, and bar towels and showed them how much bleach and water to put in to sanitize surfaces with for pennies compared to the cost of sanitizers when the cost increased so much.
- Handing people something versus just handing them my card which could get lost or end up in a trash can would remind them of me when they saw it or used it.
Be a Resource and SELL SOMETHING!!