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Guard Your Company Resources
as if They Were Your Own

Your resources are anything that cost your company money that you allocate to prospects. Most salespeoples’ behavior reflects the belief that their company has infinite resources. One resource that is constantly abused by salespeople is manpower. Ask yourself how often do you use flimsy quotes and proposals that are prepared by estimating or by the technical department without any considerations for the cost? If you were the owner of your own company and you had to pay all those direct costs out of your pocket, you would probably think long and hard about doing it.

Your resources are your leverage. Allocate them according to when you can optimize your position. Look at your resources as an investment. Would I invest in this account if I knew I was vulnerable to a low probability of return? One of my machine tool distributors built a $500,000 state of the art demo room to demonstrate their equipment. The first month they were ecstatic with the activity it generated. Unfortunately, they soon realized that the salespeople booked the room with tire kickers and their two top producing salespeople could not schedule their two best accounts in for that month. Granted, they sold them the next month, but it did increase their cost of sales because their salespeople were not wisely utilizing their leverage.

Salespeople should guard their resources not because they are good corporate citizens who are concerned with costing the company money; they should guard their resources because it is their control and leverage point in the sale. Salespeople should adopt an owner mentality because if they allocate their resources wisely and accordingly, it will personally make them more productive and efficient. Ironically, what is good for the goose is good for the gander.

One resource that is very subtle but widely misused is references. References in theory cost you nothing in money and little in time. But they cost you tremendously in control if you allocate them at the wrong time. Use your references as a closing tool. Agree to give out references only at the optimal time when it will be the last thing prospects have to decide on and check on before they make their final decision. For example: “Bill, I’d be happy to provide you with references. Since my customer’s time is valuable, I have promised them that I won’t misuse their time with prospects who aren’t serious or who are still in the initial stages of checking us out. I have assured them that I won’t use it as a prospecting tool but only as a closing tool. Does that sound fair to you?” The beauty of this strategy is when I get resistance, I know I have a poorly qualified prospect.

One should have a desirability matrix to use on all prospects who are tapping your company’s resources. Do they qualify for our resources and what is the likelihood of a positive return on the investment?

Richard Farrell is President of Tangent Knowledge Systems, a national sales development and training firm based in Chicago. He is the author of the upcoming book Selling has Nothing to do with Selling. He trains and speaks around the world and has authored many articles on his unique non-selling sales posture.

Phone: 773-404-7915
EMail: rfarrell@tangentknowledge.com
Web: http://www.tangentknowledge.com