Find A Lois And She’ll Blow The Lid Off Your Sales Performance
All businesses have two objectives: Make money and grow. Growth in revenues and market size. You're the sales rep. Just sell more than you did last year and bring back no excuses, take no prisoners. All of us need to magnifiy our efforts. This can be done in retail sales, service sales, consumer sales, even business-to-business sales. One particular method is often overlooked, that of a champion. This article explores how you can spot a champion and then help them to be successful, thereby multiplying your own success. In this case, all the author had to do was meet the right woman.
More than that she taught me my most important business lessons in time management and account management. These are two very key, essential skills for all successful independent business people. Funny, Lois probably never knew she was my kind of professor.
I met Lois in my first year as an art instructor. She was the class coordinator for a large art and crafts retail store I’d signed up four months previously. I teach oil painting classes at retail stores for the public. The hosting store gains all of the supply sales and I’m paid a tuition by each student. It’s a great win-win situation.
Lois was a brand new replacement for the previous class coordinator that had originally signed me up as the store’s oil painting instructor. My first four months had not been overly exciting. First month I had one student, three students at the second, and by the time the fourth class, I had around six students.
Upon hearing about the change in management, I dover over to see Lois (85 miles), introduced myself and took the opportunity to clarify operating procedures.
In a word, Lois was an enthusiastic, vibrant, outgoing, elegant lady that was totally absorbed her new assignment. We talked for hours and I invited her to paint with me at the next class for free. It’s a standard policy of mine that employees of any store in which I tech can attend free on an “as space permits” basis.
The fifth month I had nine students. Now that was cool. Lois joined us for that class and wouldn’t stop raving about her experience. Sixth month, ten students, seventh month thirteen students, month eight had 20 students. Enrollment went right up to thirty students and we expanded into a weekend workshop series. Classes still kept growing.
Now how come those classes grew so nicely? Lois? You bet!Sure, I’m a great artist, handsome, suave and an absolutely charming instructor. But was this the real reason?Time for a road trip.
I visited Lois a couple more times outside of class just to get an idea of what it was she did that wasn’t happening in my other 14 stores. I watched this professional and it was amazing. Lois, while the class coordinator was also responsible for selling paints and flower arrangement supplies. She was constantly patrolling the aisles. When she saw customers looking over supplies, she marched right up, introduced herself and in minutes they were telling her all about their hobbies. Lois would then inform them all about the art and hobby classes the store constantly conducted. Lois would show them instructor samples, talk about her own personal experiences and even show off her own work. Each instructor she represented became a legend, if you will, in the enthusiastic manner she represented them.
According to Lois, people love to talk about themselves, their accomplishment and all she did ws give them the opportunity. With common ground established, it was a simple step to introduce them to the store’s programs.
While I was conducting clasases, Lois would often come in with potential students and show them the class’s work in progress. She’d introduce them to me so I could spend just a couple of minutes passing along a few encouraging words.
Now while I’m talking to prospective students, Lois, would walk a;round the classroom admiring sincerely, the student’s work and encouraging them. She’d sk if she’d misled the students about either my skills or the experience they were undergoing. After the prospective students and I had exchanged a few words, Lois would them escort them to the cash register to sign up for the next month’s class.
Two weeks before a scheduled class, Lois would call all former students and advise them to sign up right away as the classes were filling up fast. Lois was loved by her store management, the customers and especially me.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Darrell Crow has over 35 years experience in direct response marketing, marketing communications and sales. Darrell offers this series on the Fundamental of Sales Techniques to encourage and assist small business owners, fellow instructors and entrepreneurs. Darrell currently owns and operates the Darrell Crow Studios where he provides oil painting instructions on both videos and instructor-led classes. Darrell is fast becoming one of America’s favorite oil painting instructors. With his step-by-step instructions, anyone can learn to oil paint. Guaranteed. Request a free copy of his 2-hour comprehensive Basic Technique of Oil Painting Water video at www.darrellcrow.com/videos.