Chris Semonelli, vice president, sales and marketing, E Squared, and president of Coated Technical Solutions, says he has “a philosophy of being assertive with passive aggression” when it comes to sales. “You need to have a deadline with customers and R&D, and make frequent visits. Emails and faxes are great, but you can’t look customers in the eye and find out about opportunities,” said Semonelli at an October 2nd campfire session at Expo 2019.
Semonelli recommends developing tactical steps to plan quarterly trips. This schedule should be detailed enough to reflect personal obligations like doctor appointments and vacations as well as trade shows and customer meetings. He notes strategic objectives in this calendar as constant reminders of goals he’s driving toward.
He develops a trip report for each week. This includes an action plan, a key customer list and follow-up tasks such as materials to send to customers and materials that your own colleagues need to produce for you.
Semonelli also has a list for actions that a particular territory will require for going forward. These responsibilities include sending out samples and thank you notes, setting deadlines, documenting promises, making frequent visits and frequently reminding people in one’s organization about their assigned tasks.
These tactics, says Semonelli, will, “force the organization to follow your cadence. In the end, you’re the one who needs to come through.”