Not that many years ago, all that was necessary to start a “Mom & Pop” motor repair shop was to hang a sign over the door and put a listing in the phone book. “Mom & Pop” soon found themselves working nights and weekends. But of all the problems they had, having to “sell” was not one of them.
Oh, for the good old days of abundant and profitable repair business. Unfortunately, such days are gone. For those of us in the electrical apparatus sales and repair business today, having to “sell” has become the most important challenge we face—whether we realize it or not.
The reasons are clear. Markets for both new motors and motor repairs are getting smaller, not larger. At the same time, the number of businesses attempting to serve these shrinking markets is growing. In such a business climate, only the companies that do the best job of “selling” will survive. Even an otherwise well managed company will eventually have to “fold its tent” if it does not do an effective job of “selling” in today’s market.
Many EASA members recognize the challenge, and some already have begun placing greater emphasis on selling in their business plans. But we suspect that the vast majority do not at present have an employee specifically assigned to carry on afull-time, outside sales program. We further suspect that the primary reason for this is that they feel they can’t “afford” it. They see such a person as “non-billable overhead,” and hence a drain on what precious little profit they are able to generate
Granted, many member firms are small. But no matter what their size, few would consider not paying their electric billbecause it is “non-billable overhead.” They regard the availability of electricity as an absolute necessity to operate their busi-ness. In today’s marketplace, the same can be said of a sales program, and of the salesperson needed to carry it out.
A salesperson should not be viewed as a luxury affordable to only the big companies, but as a necessity for every EASA member who wishes to survive in the future. The right salesperson, properly compensated, is an investment even the smallest member firm can ill-afford not to make.