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Forget Your Title

Focus on the Job By G.A. "Andy" Marken

?If you arent selling, youre buying  F.G. ?Buck Rogers, former head of IBM Marketing, Sales activities

Somewhere along the line we got sidetracked into believing we had to focus on our profession.   We forgot what people in companies -- engineers, scientists, accountants, product managers, vice presidents, lawyers, technical/customer support personnel, and yes, presidents -- were supposed to do.  We got so wrapped up in our own status in the organization, our own feeling of self-importance -- our title -- we forgot what our real job was.

The job?  Selling products and services and making a profit.

You dont?


That means:

1.  When a customer problem or question comes to you, you try to answer it.  And you go directly to the people who can provide the answer to ensure they customer gets assistance and a satisfactory answer

2.  When a phone call or email  internal or external -- comes in you return the call or respond within an hour if at all possible.  Or you ensure someone handles the query if you are on the road.  You leave no query unanswered before you leave the office at the end of the day

3.  You spend at least 10-15% of your time with your field sales force calling on customers and/or prospects to find out why they purchased or didnt -- your firms products/services and what they like/dislike

4.  You visit outlets and stores that sell your products/services to see how your promotional materials and the products, as well as your competitors are presented

5.  You talk about your projects, programs, activities with senior management and staff in terms of market response/reaction, impact and sales

6.  You time your product announcements and roll-outs so they coincide when the product/service will actually be available -- in a solid form  for sale

7.  You spend time trying to determine what the customer wants, needs and not what you think you want to design, produce and ship 

Those things arent your area of responsibility or your concern?


Selling?being responsible?being responsive is your total job.

A recent report we read on customer relations made us realize we are losing touch with our real job.  It is little wonder that customers -- business and consumers -- dislike the buying process so much.  It made us realize that companies produce better results when they are just a little bit more focused on the selling (and support) process, and often it doesnt take that much to be that much better.

In the late '70s and early '80s Buck Rogers of IBM was the epitome of the salesmans salesman.  His consistent uniform -- dark blue suit, white shirt, rep tie and red pocketchief  may seem a little dated, but the fundamentals he preached and practiced are as sound today as they were then.

In his mind everyone in the organization was a sales person.  The janitor, the engineer, the lawyer, the PR person, the lab rat, the installation/service technician were all part of the IBM sales team. 

The internet didnt change that.  The customer support department didnt change that.  The specialties didnt change that.

Our feeling of the importance of specialization and departmentalization and compartmentalization changed that focused customer approach. 

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Related Keywords:Selling, profession, companies, engineers, scientists, accountants, product managers, vice presidents, lawyers, technical/customer support personnel, presidents, status, organization, real job, not my job

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