Wednesday, July 21, 2010

An interview with my mentor

Posted April 6th, 2010

Being the Nice Guy Salesman, I've had some great teachers in my life who taught me what sales, business, and customer service were all about. I had the opportunity to work for Stan Morgan in 2004 and 2005 when he started his business Winners Ink & Toner. Stan has been a salesman and business owner his entire life. He told me of his early years being a full time student in college and working two jobs to stay in school. You don't see people work that hard these days.

Stan taught me about perseverance. I remember a few months into learning how to be a salesman I said in an exasperated voice "I've worked so damn hard but can't close a deal!" He replied "It's like farming Justin. You need to sow those seeds and let them grow. But you also need to water them and give them fertilizer." This was his parable about how to follow up and make sure the customer remembered you. He said "If you keep following up, the customers will start to come in droves." He told me that in mid February, and March 2005 was my best month working for him.

So, without further ado, here's a bit of the interview I had with Stan. I hope that all of you aspiring salespeople can grab something from this. There's bits of good information for sales managers as well!

1. What age did you start your career as a salesman? 27

2. Which job as a salesman was your favorite? And which was your least favorite? Selling stocks and bonds was my favorite. Least favorite was selling business forms.

3. What tool, tip, or trick is the most useful that you use? The telephone. For me, the telephone is still the best medium to use in the sales process.

4. How do you overcome objections from a customer if they are not happy? Continue the discussion to ascertain what the customer is objecting to. Once the point is discovered, I address it to be able overcome the objection.

5. What is your definition of “customer service?" I define it as "good customer service." Good customer service means going out of your way to make sure your customer is always satisfied with your service and/or product(s).

6. If you had one choice of a company to do sales for (other than your own) what would it be? Another business similar to mine. I get real satisfaction in selling inexpensive quality products to save money for my customers

7. Is the customer “always right? No, but there is a way to handle a circumstance with a customer. It just depends on what the circumstance is. Once it is determined we work around the customer's objections until they are made to look right.

8. Whenever you were a manager of other salespeople, what method for teaching or inspiring worked best for you? Having a daily sales meeting and providing ideas for each sales person on how to tackle the day.

9. What would you tell a salesperson who is facing a slump in sales, or is new, and feels as if they just aren’t seeing any results regardless of how much work and effort they are putting into the job? I would ask the salesperson to work with me at his or her work station. Then I would give the salesperson. A critique on is or her work. I would also make some sales calls myself to see that my salesperson gets what I am recommending.

As you can see, working with and for Stan showed me what the essence of customer service was. When he talked about the customer being right or wrong, he mentioned working around the customers objections. He doesn't mean ignore them. He means acknowledge them and work together with the customer to find a resolution.

I prided myself in handling the most difficult of customers working for AT&T Wireless. The ability to take those customers and turn them into the most loyal of customer comes directly from the teaching of Stan Morgan. He's old school business in all the right way. I wish every sales person had the chance to meet someone of this caliber in their lifetime.

Here's his contact info if you are interested in doing business or possibly learning some sales magic from him:

Stan Morgan


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