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6 Comments
  1. Joe Schmidt permalink
    December 30, 2010 2:23 pm

    Intersting theme.
    I suppose all sales positions have their pro’s and con’s.
    My current position (12 years), is b2b selling in a wide open market, mostly US but has been international. The only real reason you wouldn’t be in my target market is if you employee less than 30 people.

    On the contrary, my last sales position, Scaffold Rental and Union Construction services in the Philly market- that was a very defined market. In fact I was limited to my geographic territory (We had a branch in NY and Baltimore)- and to the few construction companies in Philly that were actually capable of using enormous union built scaffold projects. I couldn’t sell to non-union construction companies.

    Quite the contrast between the two sales positions, and both have had their unique difficulties.

  2. December 30, 2010 2:50 pm

    Territory and geography can certainly have a lot to do with it.

    How about competitors? Economic pressures?

  3. Car Salesman permalink
    December 30, 2010 3:33 pm

    How about copier sales?

    Here’s a true story from my last job selling fire & security systems:
    I had the opportunity to present a customer a fire system upgrade that was offered by our partner for FREE parts, all the customer had to do was pay for wire and installation. Yeah, I know what you’re thinking…the parts were offered free for a limited time to promote a new product line. Anyway, this brought the job cost down about 45%. Being the sales person that I am, I made sure that I followed up with my contact weekly at the beginning of the month and graduated up, since I was not getting an answer one way or another.

    I stopped by and caught my contact in the office. I explained why I was there, re-explained the parameters for the free equipment, and was told that I was acting like a used car salesman. Not to let an oportunity like this slip by, I stated that I wanted to make sure that he was fully aware of the deadlines and this really was a good deal. Then I explained to him that I really didn’t take his comment as an insult, because I purchased 5 used cars from the same guy over the last 10 years because I could trust him.

    I shook his hand, said goodbye and he still hasn’t bought anything for his fire system as of yet.

  4. December 30, 2010 3:35 pm

    What an awesome response to a car salesman crack.

    BTW – I might need the number of your car guy :-)

  5. Car Salesman permalink
    December 30, 2010 3:54 pm

    forgot to add for Copier Sales:
    frequent groups of hostile customers
    extremely competitive with low margins
    mostly uneducated customers (black dots on white paper)

  6. Joe Schmidt permalink
    December 30, 2010 6:02 pm

    I remember as sales trainer from years ago- a guy said he was so good at selling that he could sell ice to Eskimo’s..
    Trainer said. “That’s great! But short sighted, don’t ya think?
    Move more product by selling ice to Ecuadorians.”

    I guess you have to know your market, product and competitors, but mostly know where to spend your time.

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