The Right Tools for the Job

My grandfather was an engineer by trade and he would always tell me that you can do any job with the right tools. But he was an engineer – what about with sales and sales coaching?

We live out in the countryside and have no access to a public sewer system. Now this is a major disadvantage especially when you have five people in the family who get rid of waste water as though their life depended on it.

So where does the waste water go? Into a septic tank to give it a good clean and when it’s relatively clean it oozes out into 50 metres of underground piping which is full of holes so that over time this water seeps out into the soil and heads underground to Australia.

Until the pipe-work and underlying soil gets clogged up. Then the waste water heads to the surface.
I first noticed the surface water just after Easter and wondered what the pong was. And the biggest shock was when I had a bill for £8,000 to put it right. Picking myself up from the floor I phoned my father who had been a groundwork specialist before he retired. He assured me that it was a case of digging and digging until you fixed the problem, some pipe-work that you could pick up for £75 and lots of energy. He offered to help me.

“Just get all the tools for the job and I’ll be up there for the weekend”
was his last request.

Following my grandfather’s advice all those years ago, I took delivery of the right tool on the Friday afternoon before the Bank Holiday weekend.

Now in sales and coaching you also need the right tools to do the job. The question is…are you using the right tools apart from your own abilities, knowledge and skills, which is the number one skill.
Are you using:

  • A half decent CRM system to track your sales pipeline and keep tabs on your existing customers
  • An iPhone, Blackberry or Windows Mobile device so you can send and receive emails, texes, IM and access web sites remotely?
  • Templates on PowerPoint and Word to help you put together presentations and proposals quickly and painlessly?
  • Linkedin, Facebook and Twitter to keep in touch with customers and have an internet presence to be contacted.
  • A dongle that you put into your laptop which gives you high speed online access with out any fuss.
  • Webinar software so you can communicate with customers using the web and which allows rich multimedia so you and present and interact with customers without meeting them face to face.
  • Teleconference facilities so you can talk with two or more decision makers simultaneously.
  • An MP3 Player so you can listen to the hundreds of free sales skills podcasts being made available to keep your skills up to speed.

The list goes on.

And the tool for the job in my back garden? A Micro Digger – so narrow that it fitted through our ¾ metre garden gate and then its tracks opened up fully on the other side. So cool. And with its large digging bucket it made short work of the 50 metre trench we had to excavate.

But the last lesson here is who drove the digger. My father of course, I wouldn’t know where to start, he did a much better job than me and made it look so very easy. And by Monday evening we’d pretty much finished the job, and saved me £8,000 to boot.

The lesson. The most important tool in our salesperson toolbox has to be ourselves. Are your skills honed ready for the boom times just around the corner?

Good luck in your selling.