I have a client who's been complaining about his sunroom sales being down. Recently we played a round of golf together. Walking the course, we must have remarked 50 times on all the different houses that could use a sunroom. A few weeks later, I asked him if any marketing efforts had been directed to that area or if anyone had been back soliciting sales. His answer was no, the reason being that his salespeople were making enough money selling other products.
If your company is like many, you're probably carrying multiple product lines. Should your salespeople sell one, some, or all of them? The answer's not simple. But at a perfect company — with dedicated leads and production staff for each line — you'd have your salespeople sell one product. That way, they can know that product inside and out.
In my company it amazed me how much more it cost me to build a deck vs. what a deck company could build one for. Finally, after hearing me complain one too many times, my best worker said, “Let me build decks every day and I'll be that good and that fast, too.”
The same applies to salespeople. If they're selling, say, siding and kitchens, odds are good that if they come up against a siding specialist, or a kitchen specialist, they'll lose. They'll sell, but their closing ratio will be significantly lower when they're selling multiple product lines.
I have a full-line remodeling friend with about six salespeople. Two sell nothing but guttering. One makes six figures. Let that salesperson sell everything the company sells and I bet you he won't keep making six figures.
I'm very aware that companies with limited sales staff don't have the luxury of selling single-line. What I advise, however, is that when you add salespeople, allow them to sell only one product line. If they have to make their living selling one product, they'll sell that product. —Phil Rea has conducted more than 13,200 in-home sales calls and trained more than 1,750 salespeople. He shares his sales strategies each month with salespeople across the country through his MasterMind Program. For more information, call 866.441.7445.