As salespeople and sales managers, we have a tendency to look to modern-day examples for inspiration and insight into the sales process. But just as much—if not more—can be learned from the great sales pioneers of the past.
Equally as important is not to overlook the techniques and behaviors of those who changed the way we think and do business…even if they’re not directly involved in sales.
Case in point: Henry Ford. Though not known for being a salesperson, we in the sales industry can learn a great deal from how Mr. Ford approached life and business. Here are three things every salesperson should know about Henry Ford and try to emulate.
1) Always be marketing
Ford knew how to work the press and he put his showmanship to work on numerous occasions. While we as salespeople may never have the opportunity to talk to the press like Henry Ford did, we can use the spirit of Ford’s behaviors to market to our leads, our prospects, and our existing clients, never letting a marketing opportunity pass us by.
2) Turn bad press into good press
In the early part of the 20th century, the Ford Model T seemed to be everywhere—indeed, it had become a part of American culture. But Ford’s first vehicle wasn’t without its critics. Many of these critics even went so far as to produce books that contained jokes and funny songs lambasting the horseless carriage.
Henry Ford was not about to let this get to him. In fact, he often kept a supply of these books on hand and passed them out to people as “free advertising”. Ford understood that even bad press can be harnessed for good.
And while, as salespeople, we may never find ourselves dealing with such extreme examples of bad press, we may have to contend with unflattering information. We need to be able use that information for our benefit.
3) Be persistent…and don’t give up
Few people know that Ford failed twice to get an automobile startup rolling. In fact, he was pushed out of his second company in 1902. But Ford didn’t give up. Just 15 months later he started the company that would go on to change the way America, and the world, thought about cars.
We can take a page from Ford’s playbook and be persistent in our sales activities. Regardless of what some of our prospects look like at present, with persistence, we may be able to turn them into the next big sale.
20th-century thinking for a 21st-century job
Though Ford got his start more than a century ago, his wisdom is still applicable to the sales profession at large. We should strive to:
1) Never let a marketing opportunity pass us by.
2) Use information for our benefit.
3) Be persistent in our sales activities.
Veloxy can help. Our predictive sales enablement platform can show you what needs to be done and when (even taking into account your geo-location) so you can tame the information hurricane and capitalize on every marketing opportunity available.