by Richard Piehler, Technical Sales Representative
Here is a great article I came across entitled ‘Don’t Limit Your Sales Potential: Create a Differentiated Customer Experience‘ by Dave Holt. I wanted to share, great knowledge for all.
“Organizations are continually looking for ways to differentiate themselves in a very competitive marketplace. With fierce competition, it is getting harder and harder for organizations to differentiate themselves on product alone.
Customers demand more from the buying experience. The buying decision is no longer being made only on price; it is also being made on the value they receive from the knowledge, advice, and guidance of sales professionals.
The question then becomes: Is your organization’s sales talent better than that of your competition?
Sales professionals need to continually invest in their skills to become the best that they can be for their customers, themselves, and their organization.
What have I observed from the best?
A differentiated customer-buying experience is built on:
- What the sales professional does before the customer interaction
- What they do during
- And what they do afterward
What do the BEST do before?
They get ready for their customer by:
- Investing time in the customer relationship prior to the interaction whether in person or on the phone
- Leveraging tools and resources that create organizational memory and create a snapshot of the customer’s current relationship with the organization
- Leveraging what is known about the customer, such as their interests, their business, and their career
What do the BEST do during?
The best provide value to their customers during the interaction through their knowledge, guidance, and advice – High performers continually work at getting on the same wavelength with their customers by:
- Projecting honesty
- Demonstrating competence
- Establishing commonality
Helping the customer make the right buying decision is built on the foundation of a trusted relationship and the ability of the sales professional to create value.
Some of the fundamental skills that can be observed by a high-performing sales person during effective customer discovery are:
1. Getting the client ready and eager to participate in the conversation
2. The ability to ask great discovery questions. Asking great discovery questions has many positive impacts on the client experience; customers respect salespeople when genuine interest is shown in their situation, problems, opportunities, and interests.
3. The interchange of ideas promotes a sense of commonality as well as reciprocity. Asking great discovery questions gives the client an opportunity to provide the sales person with the necessary information to make a well-informed buying decision.
High performing sales professionals are not afraid to ask tough questions; however, they ask them in a customer-focused manner. They also know that sometimes what the customer says and what the customer means are often different. They use effective discovery questions to check the levels of urgency and importance in order to establish the reality of the issues the customer faces.
High-Performing Sales Professionals are great active listeners. They have the ability to:
- Capture the customer’s energy words through effective note-taking
- Re-present the customer’s needs by including not only the facts, but the feelings behind the facts
- Recognizing the non-verbal cues from the customer which determine if their point of view is truly understood
High-performing sale professionals do not sell products – they provide solutions. Customers have the right to feel that their circumstances are unique and that their needs require solutions that are specific to them. Ultimately, it is the goal of a professional sales person to demonstrate to their customers that the products and services that they represent will satisfy their needs and provide a solution that will meet or exceed the customer’s expectations.
High performing sales professionals know that product knowledge includes not just the facts about their products and services, but how they are applied and what they will do for their customers.
High-performing sales professionals understand that it’s their responsibility to help the customer make the right buying decision. That commitment demonstrates that they understand their customer’s needs, that the solution they have outlined will meet the customer’s needs, and that they believe in their product and services, their organization, and themselves.
Resistance to Commitment
Not all customers are ready to buy. High-performing sales professionals also understand the concept of resistance and the resistance barrier. They know that objections indicate a resistance point for the customer and need to be understood. They also know that the majority of objections are not what they appear on the surface, and if they have stuck to the fundamentals of selling, objections become more of a request for further information or are simply misunderstandings. High-performing sales professionals also believe that objections are caused by the sales person, not the customer.
High-performing sales people stay in touch with their customers; they measure the ongoing relationship with their customers and implement high value, keep-in-touch strategies.
High Value touch points might include: – Measuring the impact of the solution provided to the customer based on their needs
- Providing valuable insight on topics of interest to their customers
- Introducing their customers to other team members in their organization
- Capturing information about their customers to ensure organizational memory
High-performing sales people succeed long-term with their customers because they proactively initiate contact on a regular basis and consistently create a differentiated customer experience.
Tom Glenn who writes the JobbersWorld online newsletter has offered his explanations for the 3rd price increases of the year for oil companies. Please read www.jobbersworld.com for more details, the article is re-posted below:
We are now looking at the third round of lubricant prices increase in 2011. For those unfamiliar with the business, that is a lot. In fact, there have been many years where there were only one or two price increases. But why so many price increase in such a short period of time in 2011? Well, there are several reasons for it.
The first, as discussed in the March 30, 2011 and April 4th issues of JobbersWorld, is the continuing rise in the price of crude. And when crude goes up, so does the price of base oil and consequently finished lubricants. But that’s not the only reason.
In addition to the impact of higher crude prices, base oils have been in short supply since the beginning of the year. In fact, for some types and grades, base oil supply has been very tight and getting tighter. When this is taken together with higher crude oil prices, base oil producers pushed through what amounts to increases from $1.00 to $1.25 a gallon (depending on type and grade) since the start of the year.
Higher base oil prices, however, are not the only drivers responsible for the higher price of finished lubricants. In addition to escalating base oil prices, lubricants additive prices have also marched up since the start of the year. As noted in the April 4th issue of JobbersWorld, Lubrizol announced a 9% price increase for its additives, and other additive suppliers also moved up over the past few days. When these recent increases are taken together with others since the start of the year, lubricant additive price have increased by 15 to 20% in 2011.
So add it up. What happens when you combine significantly higher base oil prices with significantly higher lubricant additive prices? Answer: You get significantly higher finished lubricant prices. And that is exactly what we have seen since the start of the year.
The chemists decided to test our Tube Mill Coolants, TMC 2050 and TMC 2065, for rust and corrosion inhibitors. They coated steel panels with the products and put them in the humidity cabinet for 13 days. The humidity cabinet exposes the panels to extreme temperatures, testing the products for rust protection. The panels, which were coated with TMC 2050 and TMC 2065 had very little sign of rust after the 13 days!
This is a picture I snapped on the 13th day before the panels got taken out of the humidity cabinet. These Tube Mill Coolants do not only have excellent tramp rejection, and low foaming characteristics, they also have outstanding rust protection!
FabTech Expo runs from November 2-4, 2010 at the Georgia World Conference Center in Atlanta, Georgia. You can find Commonwealth Oil in the Tube and Pipe Area, in Hall B at Booth #3465!! We still have free tickets to give away, e-mail email@example.com to request your complimentary tickets today!
Online map and on-demand direction services have become quite the staple in many of our lives now days. Thanks to the great service that is Google Maps, Commonwealth Oil has taken our distribution network online making it easier to find a local distributor than ever before. Check it out today!
By Fred Herdman
Commonwealth Oil Corp. has just completed the midway point of developing a new and revolutionary type of gear lubricants. It is our goal to develop and significantly prove to end-users that by changing over to this new family of Lo-Amp industrial gear oils they can actually save measurable levels of electrical energy.
Because this new technology originated in our laboratory it is unavailable to any of our competitors. We manufacture the component that gives us this super lubricity.
Some of the things you will notice when you receive this gear oil for the first time is its lighter colour. Much of this is because we are using food grade quality base oils as the primary building blocks. You will also observe this gear oil does not smell like conventional gear oils. Typically when you open a barrel of gear oil you will immediately notice that pungent odour of the sulphur phosphorous additive that gives it that characteristic odour. That smell is completely gone. The second thing you will also notice is this gear oil is almost colourless. In spite of the change in odour and colour this new lubricant meets all of the latest requirements and standards for an AGMA/American Gear Manufacturers Association Type Gear Oil that is required for enclosed stationary gear boxes.
We are so confident in this new technology that we put it into our largest Lightnin’ Gear Box that mixes our synthetic coolants. Within seven working days while mixing the exact same volume and product we are able to verify while using the same viscosity gear oil that the temperature in the gear box dropped 14ºF/7.77ºC at six different points on the outside of the gear box. This is a remarkable achievement. The temperature drop is directly related to a significant reduction in friction at the interface between the teeth in the gear box.
Another issue we have been able to resolve is that this new family of gear oils has much greater oxidation stability than any gear oils using both Group I and Group II base oils than we have ever seen before. This gear oil is able to run a complete falex test without failure and the vee block and pin is much cleaner that anything we have ever seen before.
At this point we are now getting ready to go into a pre-determined beta test sight. As soon as these results are completed we will be sure to let everyone know about both the results and the marketing program we have for this new family of gear oil products.
By Fred Herdman
There is a general and rightly held feeling throughout North America that every one is on a daily quest to drive down their cost. The directives we are all under is that if you do not reduce your cost then they will get someone in here immediately who is prepared to do so. This approach is not going to go away anytime soon.
We may have part of the answer for you with our newest product called CommQuest MPG.
CommQuest MPG is a full synthetic machining coolant that is probably the absolute lowest cost metalworking fluid in North America today. It does not stain copper, brass, bronze or galvanized metals, however it is not designed to work with aluminum. It is low misting, low foaming, not dyed and best of all it has an incredibly aggressive pricing structure. All of this while still maintaining your profit structure. CommQuest MPG is available by drum, tote or tanker.
Commonwealth Oil is very proud to have been chosen to become the manufacturer and developer of biodiesel fuels for the North American Centre of Research and Development for Ford Motor Co. This testing facility includes engines of the future e.g. diesel, hybrid and hydrogen powertrains. This is the result of talks between our mutual companies that have been almost 6 months in the making. Pictured above is Fred Herdman with Dr. Jimi Tjong the Staff Tech. Specialist – Power Train for this new development centre. This project fits in line with our newest initiative to develop environmentally responsible green products for industry.
By Fred Herdman
Emulsifiable Oils – AquaComm™
Emulsifiable oils provide a lot of lubricity which translates into good tool life. Conversely, they are a much friendlier environment for bacteria because they are less likely to remove tramp oils e.g. hydraulic oil and waylube that leaks into the coolant sump. These contaminants are a friendly environment to bacteria which results in corrosion and a very ugly “Monday Morning Odour”. Emulsifiable oils are old technology and require more work to keep them functioning.
Semi-Synthetics – CommCool™
Semi-Synthetics are not as common because they are the toughest metalworking fluids to manufacture. Commonwealth Oil’s most popular and diversified coolant is our CommCool family of semi-synthetic metalworking fluids. CommCool semi-synthetics provide tremendous rust protection and tool life in both hard and soft water and do not require the constant upkeep to avoid “Monday Morning Odours”. First time users are always commenting about how quickly any CommCool fluid will clean their machining centres. In some cases what they think is a problem is really the fluid’s added cleaning benefit working for them. It is literally like removing cholesterol from your heart.
Whenever a customer is looking to purchase soluble oil encourage them to consider CommCool. After all, both of these coolants are equally priced. Take some time to understand the application and then share the benefits of switching to a semi-synthetic. Your customers will thank you for improving their systems. For additional information on making the switch to semi-synthetics call Dave Foster.
All coolants today are formulated to include rust preventatives. These Rust Inhibitors provide a protective barrier on metal surfaces. The Cast Iron Chip Test (ASTM D4627) is a good indicator of a water soluble product’s rust preventive qualities. ASTM Standard Cast Iron Chips are placed on filter paper and then soaked with approximately 10 mls. of coolant for 4 hrs. If rust spots are present on the filter paper after removal of the chips the coolant fails. If no rust spots are present the coolant passes. As part of our standardized quality control process we test most coolants for rust inhibition prior to packaging at 3, 4 & 5%. They must pass this test to be approved.
Commonwealth Oil has qualified its three most popular dielectric fluids with NSF International. The fluids that are now registered with the NSF are EDM-244, EuroSupreme and EDM Super Supreme. NSF International www.nsf.org is The Public Health and Safety Company™, providing public health and safety risk management solutions to companies, governments and consumers around the world. Anyone from a Plant Manager to a home owner should be aware of the NSF and how it affects our lives on a daily basis.
We believe that we are now the only company in the world that has NSF Registered EDM Fluids to the H1 and HT1 Standards commonly seen by processors of food, beverage, pharmaceutical and meat processors. For our fluids to become registered it required that each finished formula and the components were fully audited by the Toxicology and Quality Control Staff of the NSF. All Tech Data or MSDS sheets for these products will now carry the NSF logo and our registration standard on the upper right corner. We have always been very adamant about the purity, quality and safety of our edm fluids and now having our NSF H1 and HT1 Registration is living proof of those qualities.