It’s important to figure out what works for you as to the style you will use with each customer. You can’t always be the “same” with every customer because that one style might not work with them. You must be able to adapt like a chameleon.
There’s much to learn from your customers by listening to them. They’ll teach you and you can apply what you’ve learned with another customer maybe in another town. This gives you a good working knowledge.
Also, just listening to a customer can tell you what help an account needs, for example if they ask about how much food has gone up, this tells you they’re suffering in their pocket book, maybe their food or labor costs are running too high. Offer to sit down with them to go over their entire menu, item by item, to see if they’re keeping up with the times with their menu prices, giving them suggestions to help make them money so they stay in business.
When you have a good relationship with your customers, they’ll normally tell you if another salesperson is trying to get their business. As long as you are taking care of them, keeping your prices in line, and watching their menu costs etc., they won’t go anywhere because you are their partner and are helping them make a living. Over time, customers become your friends or like a part of your family.
If you walk into a customer early and find that their dishwasher or waitress didn’t show up, jump in and help them out. Be their best employee.
Dave pursued an account for seven years by dropping off monthly flyers, even though the prospect was totally happy with their distributors. That prospect told him if he ever got rid of one of them he would put him in that spot, and three months later, he did just that because of the relationship that had developed over time and he still sells them today.
Greenhorns: Do not hesitate or be afraid to ask the veteran sales people questions that have been posed to you that you don’t know the answers to. ASK, ASK, ASK! Because a prospect or customer will find someone who can answer it and help them.
DSRs, Be a Resource…and Sell Something!