Tales From The Field: Lenny J.

In this week’s edition of Tales From The Field, I want to introduce you to another Real Salesperson Doing Real Well: Lenny J. from New Orleans, LA.

Lenny works for one of the nation’s largest suppliers of Integrated Handling Solutions—which is a real fancy way of saying they are in the Fork Lift business. Well, that’s their main business. They also handle other warehouse materials like racking, conveyors and so forth and call literally every industry that operates any kind of warehouse.

You talk about being hard to know your customer’s business! But, for Lenny it’s not that hard at all—as he explained over lunch recently.

“Every one of my clients receives product, stock product, pick product and ship product—no matter what that product is, I have to help them do it efficiently.”

Lenny is one of the most thorough salespeople I’ve ever encountered at asking questions. He will drill down to find out what his customers need to make sure his recommendations not only fit, but will solve the customer’s problem or help them become more efficient and effective.

As an 8-year veteran of the Marine Reserves, Lenny says he learned how to sell in the Military.

“You have to understand,” he said recently. “If you wanted to get something done up the chain of command you had to sell it! You had to be an expert at sales, communication and tact and handle it all with the utmost professionalism.”

The reason I spotlighted Lenny here was an occasion that was brought to my attention where he sacrificed a short-term gain for a couple of long-term customers. I’ll let him tell you the story.

“One of the products my company sells is a powered, double pallet jack. A selector rides on it and can select product for two orders at one time by carrying two different pallets with them. Well, I had a customer that wanted to buy about a dozen of them at about $8,000 each. I could’ve made the sell and everyone would’ve been happy.

The only problem is that about two hours away I had another customer who was wanting to sell about 20 used units of the exact same type because they had replaced them with triple pallet jacks for their business. I had already sold the triples, so it wasn’t like that deal hinged on them selling the doubles. The double units were literally taking up space in their warehouse.

So, I simply introduced the two customers and made them both happy. The one customer was able to buy very slightly used equipment (which I had refurbished) and saved literally tens of thousands of dollars. The other customer was grateful to get the used units off their books.

I don’t really look at it like I cost myself a sale. I prefer to look at it like I helped two good customers”.

Did he ever!

Now, how high is Lenny’s trust level with those two customers? Can you say: through the roof? How about future business? Do you think Lenny is going to get the benefit of the doubt from both of them for future purchases? You bet.

This is a clear case of being a professional! Your job as a salesperson is to solve problems. Take a lesson from Lenny: sometime’s there’s more than one way to solve it!

Question: Do you know of an extraordinary salesperson that I should spotlight here? I’d love to hear from you!