No One Has Energy Like a Small Business Owner
If you’re in sales like I am, many times it’s tough to figure out what your next steps should be. There’s no promised salary and no promise your leads will turn into sales. The best way to keep your energy flowing is to work with small businesses. While many people like to get contracts with large corporations, it’s the small businesses that give me my energy. When you’re dealing with a small business, in most cases you’re dealing with the owner directly. He or she has put their entire life, heart and soul into their business. They don’t have a large budget and are relying on us to come up with a solution that fits all their needs. I’ve had the privilege of business owners looking me in the eye and saying “Ashley, thank you for helping save my business”. Looking for ways to cut costs and give businesses the best network reliability makes all the difference in the world to small business owners. That’s what gets me out of bed every morning and gives me the energy to succeed.
Your Customers Are Your Best Advertisements
Navigating the competition is tricky and can be confusing for our customers. Many companies fall prey to the temptation to outplay their competition simply by giving cheaper deals. For us it’s all about two things: First, our network reliability. We know that even one missed call or one dropped call can have a huge impact for a small business. Think about safety too. If there are drivers on the road, we know they need to feel safe in case of an emergency and be able to have reliable service, no matter where they are. We don’t need to worry about who offers the cheaper price, we are dedicated to giving our customers the most reliable network possible so they’ll never miss an opportunity and always be safe. Second and perhaps most important, is the way we treat our customers. No matter what type of deal people receive it’s the way they are treated that keeps them come back. Our top priority is our customers and we do everything we can to make sure they have everything they need to succeed.
Learn When to Walk Away
The most dangerous trait to have working in any company is not knowing when to stop. You may have worked hours or days on a certain product or idea and feel compelled to see it through no matter what. Although you may be excited about it, make sure to get the opinion of your team. Often I’ll call a roundtable and gather twenty people together, sit them down and ask them straight up, “What do you think about this idea?” Many times they’ll say, sounds cool but honestly we’re not really interested and it’s not right for the customer. If it doesn’t make sense for the customer or employee, drop it. Always listen to the voice of your employees and customers, they will consistently steer you in the right direction.
Super Bowl Ads Don’t Create Long Term Success
Advertising campaigns can be confusing. People get very excited by Super Bowl ads and spend big money in their advertising budgets. Whether it’s advertising on the radio, on television or any other large network, the truth is the job in sales begins after you make the sale. Developing a relationship to understand their needs so you’ll always be in position to help them is vital to long term success. Super Bowl ads surely bring new customers to your business, but if you’re not built to make a longstanding relationship with your customers, they’ll leave you when they hear about the next “good” deal. There is never a shortage on a cheaper deal, but when you earn a client’s trust, that’s not something anyone will give up quickly.
Becoming Promotable Requires Two Qualities
Many people want to be promoted. I’ve been fortunate to have been with Verizon for over 17 years, starting as a retail sales representative and now as the executive director of sales operations for Verizon Wireless. While it certainly takes a lot of work, I’ve learned it’s about two main principles. First, you’ve got to be results oriented and consistently deliver month in and out with integrity. And second but equally important, you must display leadership behaviors. Simply put, to lead is to serve. I have observed the best performing individual contributors and realized the leaders set themselves apart by constantly looking outside their personal responsibilities and finding ways to help others. They look for more responsibility and continue to find innovative ways to get better at what they do.
Success Means Constantly Looking To the Future
Getting stuck in the past has never been more dangerous for businesses of any size. At Verizon we are not just a wireless company, we’re a technology company. I started in the communications industry by selling pagers in 1996, remember those? Today nobody uses them and the evolution of technology has moved faster than ever before. Even then we constantly partnered with other companies focusing on our solutions and paying attention to what’s in store ahead. You’re seeing a company like GM partner with Lyft, as well as other auto makers partnering with technology companies. The secret to success is never get stuck in the present and have your sights always set on the future. If we set up shop to only sell phones we’d fall behind pretty fast. Instead our mission at Verizon is to see what’s ahead, set the tone, and lead the way. We’re about technology and more importantly, helping our customer’s companies grow with technology.
Ashley is a sales-oriented, focused, self-motivated leader with a track record of delivering top consistent results. Ashley has been with Verizon for over 17 years. Starting as a retail sales representative and is now the executive director for Verizon Wireless. Throughout Ashley’s career, she has worked in a hypercompetitive environment while managing simultaneous projects, creating customer loyalty, and garnering productive relationships between peers and customers. In addition, staying committed to mentoring, coaching and guiding peers on their path to success.