Now that I have spent six months as an inside salesperson, I am much more proficient in the new types of material and providing top of the line service. The time I spend quoting items we don’t keep in our warehouse has expanded my relationships with our vendors. Half of the battle is knowing who to call for what, so I have been keeping a word document with lists of vendors and what lines they represent. Since Hajoca both buys and sells, I am constantly switching between being a customer and serving our customers. I also serve as a kind of middle ground between our counter pick up business and outside sales. I am a backup person for our counter, so I help out when we get busy; it’s a nice break to get up and move around! I am also able to prospect from my desk by calling to follow up with customers I meet on the
counter. There are times when I don’t need to leave the PC to find new customers, because they walk up to our counter and tell me what kind of material they use daily. One great thing about this industry is that we don’t need to convince our customers that they need our material; we just need to convince them that we can act as a partner to them in providing the goods and services they already know they need (and of course there are opportunities for upselling).
I attended my second Management Development Program workshop during my inside sales phase. This time I presented a project to a panel of profit center managers, region managers, and other trainees. I spent almost 8 months automating the pricing structure for my phase one profit center. Luckily, I saw a significant decrease in manual price over rides, which means I saved a lot of man hours! It is these kinds of projects that are the reason I find enjoyment at work. Also at the workshop, all the trainees participated in daily classes that improve our potential for success as a profit center manager. One of my favorite workshops was on hiring your “dream team”. A strong team of employees is one of the core elements for success, so the hiring process must be very intentional. We learned some great techniques for the interviewer to prepare questions that predict the fit of any candidate. Another session I really enjoyed was “The Science of Selling” which went into detail on the psychology behind different sales techniques that leave customer and supplier happy.
Outsides sales is just around the corner for me now. This will be the time when I “hit the road” to find new customers. I am both excited and nervous to step outside my comfort zone and sell others on the greatness of Hajoca’s products and service. Look out for my next blog for successes and lessons learned throughout my outside sales phase!