One key suggestion: TLC. No, this doesn’t stand for Tender Loving Care, but rather Think Like the Customer. “If you have never heard that before, try to internalise it,” Lamb said.
“Most of you in the room are managers and above: Your role is to think like a rep – remember what motivated you as a rep,” Lamb said.
“Compensation is the best form of communication,” he added. “Some people say it’s the only form of communication – but it’s certainly the best.”
“Do you believe in making riches from niches?” he asked. People should, he said, because today, “that’s where the big money is.”
Lamb then used a story to illustrate the importance of effective sales managers.
A man goes into a restaurant. The place is crowded. When the waiter comes to take his order, the man asks for a Diet Coke with his meal.
The waiter says, “We only have Diet Pepsi.” The customer says “OK, then I’ll just have water.” When his meal comes, the waiter sets down his food and then a Diet Coke. The man is surprised and asked the waiter how he did it, because he’s seen the waiter going back and forth to tables around him the whole time and knows he hasn’t had time to leave the restaurant. The waiter says, “I told my manager about your request and he went out to get it.”
Now, Lamb asked the audience, when one of your sales reps comes to you with a customer’s request for something you don’t offer, do you say you don’t have it? Or are you the kind of manager who finds a way to make it happen?