A few weeks ago, the fate of a 70-person sales team hung in the balance as two recruiting giants in the door-to-door sales industry battled to earn the sales team’s services.
Although Company A had already signed the sales team, Company Z felt it could provide this group with a better opportunity. When the dust settled, the sales team abandoned its commitment with Company A and signed with Company Z.
What a travesty for Company A.
Days later, still reeling in disappointment, Company A contacted Company Z pleading for them to relinquish the sales team. Company A claimed the loss of the sales team would be detrimental as it had hired technicians and office staff as well as purchased vehicles and equipment to support the sales team’s production. The consequences of not having the sales team would result in lost jobs, damaged reputation, and countless hours of time and energy wasted in preparation to accommodate the sales team’s efforts.
In an unprecedented move, Company Z relinquished the group of sales reps but only if Company A agreed to sign a non-compete which prohibited them from recruiting Company Z’s signed sales reps.
Company A begged for mercy and it was granted.
So here’s where the hypocrisy comes in…
For the past several weeks Company A has relentlessly pursued my company’s sales reps and customers. In fact, a couple of weeks ago the text message shown below took place between my sales manager (in blue) and Company A’s divisional sales manager (in grey).
Really? Paying for your competitor’s customer list!
This low blow makes Draymond Green’s nut punch (pictured above) look like child’s play.
And, if this strategy isn’t pathetic enough, Company A’s divisional sales manager has also attempted to recruit my sales reps by offering them cash.
So let’s get this straight…Company A is doing the very thing it begged Company Z not to do, recruit sales reps that were already signed.
Company A has to realize that my company also hires technicians and office staff, as well as purchases vehicles and equipment to prepare for our summer sales teams, and with every customer lost, my technician’s routes are diminished, thus affecting their compensation and potentially their jobs.
Fortunately, Company A’s witch hunt for my sales reps and customers has resulted in little success. Cancel rates are below average and my sales reps aren’t taking the bait.
Executives at Company A will likely plead ignorance to the behavior of this divisional sales manager, but what if other managers, recruiters and sales reps at Company A use these same tactics?
Is Company A so delusional that it teaches devious tactics targeting other company’s reps and customers yet supplicates others not to do the same thing?
Figurative punches below the belt to business competitors may not result in a 1-game suspension as it did in the NBA Finals, but low blows and hypocritical tactics don’t go unnoticed and necessarily unpunished. I don’t think it’s too much to ask Company A to play by the same rules it desires to be played.
Let’s keep it clean gentlemen!
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Sales Rep: “Our service only costs $125 per visit.”
Customer: “I’m currently paying $100 per visit.”
Sales Rep: “Then I can drop your price to $95 per visit.”
In your opinion, is this interaction an example of a skilled salesman? Does dropping the price of a product or service equate to a masterful sales technique?
I would argue it doesn’t take much skill or technique to make sales by just offering a less expensive option. That being noted, price-dropping can be an effective way to gain sales, but this technique should not be lauded as a sales skill.
Last Saturday my 7-year old son attempted to sell lemonade to our neighbors for $1 a cup. He soon realized this price point was too high so he dropped the price to $.25 a cup and effectively sold out of lemonade within the hour.
My son claimed the rush of lemonade sales was the result of him being a great salesman, but of course you and I know better. It was the price drop, not his selling prowess which accelerated his lemonade sales (In another post I’ll have to share how my discussion about profit margins went with my son).
Years ago I was talking with a pest control owner from Las Vegas who told me, “I don’t care how much my competitors sell their service for because I will beat anybody’s price.”
Surely there is a segment of the population who seeks out the best deals and will sacrifice quality over cost, and this Las Vegas business owner was absolutely killing that demographic. However, he also revealed corners he was forced to cut which enabled him to keep the lowest price point in the market.
Price-dropping has its place but should not be viewed as a sales technique. It’s mostly gimmick, linked to a compromise of quality.
I suppose my son and the Las Vegas owner would make great business partners as they shared the childlike business sense that by dropping price they were better businessmen and salesmen, when in reality neither was the case.
The real winners in these scenarios were the pest control seeking homeowners in Las Vegas and my thirsty neighbors.
Skilled sales reps don’t need to price drop. In fact, the mark of a great salesman is the ability to increase price without sacrificing production.
To learn more about how your sales team can increase sales without compromising price, visit my website at:
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I recently received this message from Austin Sigl…a door-to-door sales rep for Vantage Marketing.
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I’m humbled by the kind words from fellow door-to-door sales reps.
Adam Smith, a former sales representative from Vivint. recently sent me the following message:
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It’s about that time! College students and door-to-door recruits everywhere are preparing to knock doors and make ridiculous amounts of money this summer.
Having been in the door-to-door game for 18 years, I’ve come to realize there are a few things you should do before knocking that first door:
1. Set a Goal: Not only should you set an overall sales goal but you should also know how many sales you need to make each month, week and day to achieve your goal.
2. Prepare for a Beat Down: Mental preparation for repeated rejection and daily discouragement is a must for door-to-door sales reps. Have the mindset that each rejection just gets you closer to your next sale.
3. Surround yourself with Success: Learn from others who have experienced success on the doors. Sales tactics, techniques and work ethic are just some of the skills you can incorporate into your own sales game.
If you want to maximize your earnings and learn how I sold nearly 1,200 accounts in one summer, learn more at: