Are You Indispensable?
By: Blase E. Belobrajdic, Low Voltage Contractors, Sales Representative
In Seattle, it was 1998. I just started working at Allied Security, a company that had been around for over 100 years. Allied began as a company that built bank safes and vaults in Spokane, WA, and later entered the commercial electronic security systems market.
I was assigned to learn the ropes from one of their salesperson, we’ll call him “Jake”. Jake was the top sales rep at Allied and had been for many years. Of course, I had to learn the intricacies of the security business. I was and still am grateful for the time I spent with Jake, not for the technical or sales training that occurred, but for what, through observation, I learned about how he made himself indispensable.
He told me a story about one client who’s family had a need for a few small commercial security projects over the years, but called one day asking Jake for some residential work. Even though Allied did not do residential work, Jake convinced Allied it was a good idea to do it anyway for this client’s family. The family also asked Jake about other contractors for work that needed to be done while building this house, not only security related work, and Jake stopped at nothing to make this client happy. This client always thought of Jake first because he could get things done. He made their lives easier, he made himself indispensable. Jake didn’t make a nickel off taking the time to suggest other contractors for this client. However, things worked out fairly well. This family’s son became part of a little-known start-up called Microsoft.
There are certain things you have to do to succeed in our profession. And it is not an easy task.
Is sales success about staying on top of important projects? Getting bids out on time? Knowing your product, industry and competition? Asking for PO’s? Absolutely. There are certain things you have to do to succeed in our profession. And it is not an easy task. In my humble opinion, doing whatever it takes to make yourself indispensable to your clients makes everything else just a little bit easier.