Sales Managers: Is There Value in Parking Cars?


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I recently enjoyed lunch at Racine’s, a local Denver favorite.  As usual, it was packed.  There are many reasons this restaurant has enjoyed success for over 30 years.  The trifecta of good food, ambience and ease of parking leads to many repeat customers.  AND….the owners are right in the “laboratory” of managing the customer experience. 

More than once, I have dropped my car off at their valet service, only to have it driven off by co-owner, David Racine.  Most patrons probably don’t know he’s one of the owners.  I mean really, what is a business owner doing parking cars? 

I suspect there are several reasons that David parks cars.  And these same reasons can translate into greater sales revenues for your sales organization. 

Reason #1.     Provide a great customer experience.  You might have a terrific sales force; however, if the person answering the phone graduated from “fun hater” school, your team may lose the opportunity to connect with a qualified prospect because of the first impression.  Or your prospect can’t even get a live body on the phone.  Carpal tunnel is setting in because of  “pressing zero” in their desire to connect and give someone their money. 

Reason #2:     Get out of the office and into the field.   I’m sure David hears a lot of conversations as people are walking out of the restaurant and waiting for their car.   Those comments may vary from compliments to complaints.  Either way, he knows what’s working or not working.    

Sales managers, can you hear a customer’s candid feedback sitting behind a desk or sitting in yet another corporate meeting? Schedule time to audit phone calls and hear what prospects and customers are saying, objecting to or requesting.  Get into the car and meet the person that signs your paycheck. 

Nothing, I repeat, nothing replaces hearing feedback right from the “horse’s mouth.”  (Prospects and customers--no offense intended.)

Reason #3:     Model the behavior you expect from your sales team.  The best leaders demonstrate they are willing to do what it takes to attract, serve and keep the customer.  This behavior builds credibility builds with their sales team because they see the leader walking the proverbial sales talk.    

Go out and park a few cars and learn about what your customers want, need and deserve. 

Good selling!

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Colleen Stanley
Colleen Stanley is president of SalesLeadership, Inc. a business development consulting firm specializing in sales and sales management training. The company provides programs in prospecting, referral strategies, consultative sales training, sales management training, emotional intelligence and hiring/selection. She is the author of two books, Emotional Intelligence For Sales Success, now published in six languages, and author of Growing Great Sales Teams.


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