I’m writing today from Emerald Bay in Great Exuma, Bahamas. My wife and I are celebrating another President’s Club after a highly successful 2014. We are having a great time!
In sales we are regularly afforded the opportunity to address customer concerns and identify ways to improve. Sometimes it is us who needs to grow and improve or it’s a part of our organization. I provided Sandals an opportunity this week and they swung and missed.
When someone calls your sales department intending to spend money – hard cold cash – answering the phone is a top priority. My experience with Sandals’ sales department missed this part — badly. The second part, where you get to address customer concerns and grow your organization, was woefully missed. Instead the manager contended that I need to adjust my expectations.
She sounded much like a poorly equipped former rep of mine. I had just taken over a sales branch on the coast of North Carolina and when meeting the sales team for the first time, he informed me, “Tom, we’re on the coast. Here we simply coast.” Point taken. However I was there specifically because this branch had been coasting. The company should have closed the branch due to its anemic sales performance. I helped this rep clearly understand the situation and he soon made an important career change.
In sales, we need to own our poor performance and deal with it if we want to win customers. Glossing over mistakes or shifting the blame won’t win you business nor will it help your organization grow.
I know this isn’t an example of what Butch Stewart intended when he created the Sandals empire. Let’s learn from this, own it, deal with it, and win!
Go big or go home!