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Sales v.s. Operations

Posted On: April 5, 2017 | Posted In:

I was in a meeting last week at one of the manufacturing plants and was reminded of a business strategy I was taught many years ago. As I listened to the Director of Sales argue with the operations manager about over promising and under delivering I was reminded of the words of one of my greatest mentors.  He told me if your sales manager and your operations manager were not constantly complaining about each other your business was doomed.

The concept is really simple and it applies to all businesses.  The sales departments job is to bring in work, to get work, to keep people happy, to value the customers, to thank them for their business and make sure people want to do business with them again.  Operations side, the nuts and bolts of every business if left to their own, would minimize the work load, make sure everything was done to perfection and never push to do so much that standards were compromised. Either one of them on their own would destroy a business. But if they were constantly challenging each other they would bring the best of each other and get the best result for the business.

I own my own business now and in the beginning I had sales people, so that I could focus on making sure how we performed in the construction of the homes we sold were completed.  It was a good plan as most of my experience was in the field.  However, I constantly got told by customers that the salesman said we could do this, or we could do that when in fact we could not.  I quickly realized that I did not want to trust the future of my businesses reputation on the words of someone other then me.  So I let them go and moved into the office.

So when you come in here what you will find is the worst salesman in the world.  I say more stupid things then you can imagine.  I fail miserably at telling people what they want to hear, I do not hand out my business card at introduction and I do not write down your name to call you once a week until you submit to by. It does not mean I do not care, I need business to be successful, but what I have learned is this is not a sales business.  People do not get talked into building a home.  You do not fast talk someone out of the biggest investment they will make in their lives.  Strangely, this has worked out perfectly.

People seem to really appreciate that they are talking to the builder not a salesman, they love that I will not call them but will be here when and if they chose to continue this process, and they like to know that who is telling them “this is what we will do for you” is the same guy that is in the field making sure that it is what we end up doing. So I apologize in advance for what might look like a clumsy sales approach, but I never have to apologize for not doing what the salesman told you we would do.

I think you will like it.

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