Windshield time is a great way to learn from the people who make sales happen — to travel with sales people and see how they sell and customers buy. Everyone in a company would benefit from exposure to this type of “belly to belly” selling.
I’ve used the windshield time over much of my career: with light bulb manufacturers, telephone companies, hardware and healthcare providers. Invariably, when you ask sales people what makes them great or what makes the company great they all agree on one thing: It’s about relationships. Okay, maybe price too…but relationships are most talked about.
If 50% of sales energy is invested in relationships, I say we are leaving an awful lot of product sell on the table. I’m not saying relationships aren’t important: “Hey, want to go to a Knick game?” I’m saying relationships are the price of business. Being able to communicate, be friendly, and provide empathy (the basis of relationship-building) is not a sales strategy.
A sales rep who only gives good lunch is not the SME (subject matter expert) I want to have a business-building relationship with. Again, I’m not saying a sales person cannot be a friend. I’m saying relationships are not brand building blocks – the are the air surrounding those building blocks. When brand planning, you must push past relationship speak. Peace!