I’ve been in sales, primarily technical sales for most of my adult life. Big focus on relationships. First-call-half-nelson-close just isn’t my shtick. One day in Olathe, KS I had a scheduling hole…2 hours until my next appointment. I was working for PECO Manufacturing (now part of Astronics) offering our die-casting, plastic injection molding a machining services to Boeing and defense contractors in the area.
Around lunchtime, I stopped by the world headquarters of Garmin Industries to drop off a card and brochure for the Purchasing Dept. (You don’t just drive up to folks like this and get a cold call appointment!) At the moment the receptionist took my brochure she said to a man passing through: “Hey Jerry, this man has information for you about his company’s die-casting and plastic injection molding services!” Jerry took the brochure and said: “You do both?” I replied that not only did we do both, but we offered machining, chromating and painting services as well. I added: “We’re a preferred supplier to Raytheon, Boeing and several other international companies because they love the range of services they can secure with us on one PO. He asked me if I could meet with his crew in about 45 minutes. I said “Yes” in at least two languages. 45 minutes later I was was ushered into a conference room filled with the Directors of Purchasing and Engineering and many of their staff. I gave my summary of how working with PECO would benefit them. The DoP said: “This sounds pretty good…but we’ve never heard of you”. I replied: “We supply Boeing with mission critical emergency oxygen systems. Every Postal Cart you have ever seen was made by us in Portland, OR. The military relies on us to produce parts for its latest generation laser guided bombs. The Trane thermostat on the wall was designed and manufactured by us.”
The clincher…that made this one of my best sales calls was: “Heck, we’ve already delivered your mail, worked on securing the nation for you, kept your workspace comfortable, offered you safety in the advent of cabin depressurization. You already rely on us. I’m simply here to explore adding to the relationship.”
Game.Set. Match! Garmin gave us a shot at a wide selection of high volume parts!