With the ever evolving technology we have today, there is no reason why you can’t capitalize on what the world is offering you to do today. No, it’s not just a matter of knowing what you’re selling and bringing it out to the market. Knowing who you’re up against is equally crucial. In this episode, John Burke talks about these points which are necessary to help keep you ahead in the game.
John Burke is the President of MSi, a LED-lighting company involved in the design and manufacture of their own LED light bulbs and specialized in commercial applications. Although a company president, John still remains a salesman at heart.
Having an extensive background in sales, working with huge corporations like Colgate and Reebok’s Avia International, John has taken the discipline and structure he has learned from Corporate America and incorporated them into developing his own business and gaining the success that he has today.
Here are the highlights of my conversation with John:
His career timeline:
- Worked with Colgate-Palmolive for almost 19 years (5 years overseas).
- Found himself burned out by his middle 30’s.
- Worked for Avia (A Reebok subsidiary).
- Learned about buying and selling companies with Avia.
- Starting his own company.
The major challenges affecting sales professionals on the corporate side:
- Rules have changed in the 70’s vs. today.
- A completely different business model.
- Sophistication in data gathering (how many units are sold per store, etc.).
- The buy-in game has changed.
- Stores are now more particular about the brands introduced.
- Products are now more global.
The game is more challenging and only the best at understanding what’s going on in the game will be successful.
What sales professionals are struggling with in these “new rules” in the game:
- Sales people only know half of the game.
- They don’t care about any of their competitors.
- Getting caught in the digital reporting.
What you need to do to up your game:
- Know who your competitors are.
- Know what their products do and don’t do.
- Know how your product is better.
The biggest challenge today: To provide thebuyer with what they need to have to make the sale.
- Why should they add your product to their portfolio?
- What does your product do that nobody else does?
- What is your product’s unique positioning?
- Are you fulfilling their needs and meeting their profit margin requirements?
What John does to motivate his team about knowing their products:
- Ongoing communications with people to teach and show them what to do.
- Take advantage of technology and tools we have today (Video demonstrations, email blasts, etc.).
- Capitalizing on what the world is offering for you to do today.
The power of knowing your competitor and their products:
- Helps you assess where you are and fashion your sales presentation.
- Helps you accentuate the “positive” about your products.
- Helps you become prepared for what might come your way from a buyer about your competitor to help your buyer make the right decision.
The biggest way to sell: Relationship Selling
Focusing on the details of the prospects you’re working with:
- Write things down.
- Call people back.
Finding the ideal customers:
- Start with your product.
- Find who your target audience is.
Current projects John is working on:
- Going for fewer watts and continually trying to improve product performance while pulling cost down.
John’s Major Takeaways: