Q&A with MDCE keynoter Jeffrey Gitomer


By Jonathan Sweet
September 10, 2013
Filed under Features, Top Stories

This year’s Marine Dealer Conference & Expo features one of the most anticipated speakers in the conference’s history: sales expert Jeffrey Gitomer.

Gitomer has sold millions of copies of his books worldwide, has worked with companies both large and small to improve their sales and is a member of the National Speaker Association’s Hall of Fame.

We caught up with Gitomer to find out a little more about what he’ll speaking about at MDCE.

What can the MDCE attendees expect to learn from your talk?

I am going to deliver customized and personalized content about your business, your staff, and your money.

I am going to teach you how to sell value, not price. How to create a memorable customer experience – that will lead to business forever. How to differentiate yourself and your business from your competition. And how to be a powerful leader – in your own business and in your local marketplace.

How will your keynote help a sales manager? How will it help the salesperson?

It will help sales managers be a coach and a leader, rather than a manager. It will help the manager execute betters selling skills in order to gain better respect from their people. It will help each manager understand what it takes to retain good people. My presentation will help the salesperson understand that by executing the fundamentals perfectly, they become better dynamically.

How will your seminar content apply to the marine industry?

Having contacted several dealers and having talked to the executives on the board, I understand the concerns and the barriers that you face.  Utilizing my 20 years of customized and personalized presentations, my talk will center on the key elements that will make your business better:  attracting new customers, retaining existing customers, and providing value that trumps price.  I will bring real-world experience and practical answers.

How have your experiences in sales shaped what you're able to teach people?

I have uncovered that making sales is not just about selling skills – it’s about uncovering buying motives. It’s about creating emotional engagement. Boat owners are passionate about their boats.

What is the biggest mistake you see people make in sales?

There are several flaws that are common to all weak salespeople. They are: Lack of belief in what they sell, who they represent, and in themselves; lack of love of what they do; blaming everything and everyone for what goes wrong or what didn’t happen (rather than taking responsibility for what happened); and having weak resilience to rejection.

You talk about the idea of "symphonic harmony." What does that mean and why does it matter for a sales team?

It means that the company, the manager, the sales people, and the customers are all singing the same song.  Not necessarily in the same key – but harmonious with one another. It is very easy to detect an out-of-key singer in a choir. It is more difficult to detect when the accounting department has angered a customer with which the sales department spent years building a relationship.

What's different today in sales than it was just a few years ago? Why?

Three things have changed selling (and buying) forever – the Internet, smartphones and social media. The Internet sells trillions annually, and it does it 24-7-365. Customers can investigate, shop price, compare prices and values, and buy with one click anyplace in the world. Social media is the largest one-on-one sales reference on the planet – and like the Internet, it’s keeping business (and salespeople) honest. And it’s making smarter customers. Smartphones have created access. Ultimate and instant access. Apps are the new Internet. And the combination of these three elements has changed the face and manner of doing business – forever.


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