Different walks of life

Garry Tyson, senior sales manager at CloserStill Media on the importance of adaptability, not just in a sales environment but in life. Writing this on the aftermath of an epic weekend away in Dublin, with 10 fellow CloserStill Media sales guys, I’ve realised how much my approach to sales has changed and what has influenced these changes. Adaptability has been a huge factor. It is important to me and every salesperson I work with, to be able to adapt to every situation they find themselves in, in order to get the most out of it – not only in terms of business but more importantly the most for the client. I see too many people falling into the same mistakes of doing what they have always done to get results. For some people it might work – fair play, but to what extent? Ask yourself did you really make the most of the situation. Could you have got more from that sale to add to sponsorship to increase your client’s exposure to the market, which in theory will turn a good show into a great one? Being able to adapt and capitalise on every single sales situation will not only make me more money, but more importantly enable me to really walk away knowing that I completely left no stone unturned and was not a ‘sales robot’ to my client. I want to be the one that client turns to whenever they think of not only my show, but also the industry it operates in. In the environment I work in you have to be on your ‘A’ game at all times. I work at CloserStill Media, a company that seems to have a knack of training young, hungry people into talented, adaptable and highly competitive professionals. I will not go into the finer details of what goes on behind the scenes here but our results speak for themselves. Much like me personally, CloserStill has adapted to its environments momentously. We don’t rest on our laurels and it goes without saying that this is filtered down through every root of the company – and being able to adapt is partly why.How many salespeople in the industry go through the same monotonous tasks of calling people or going to meetings and approaching everything the same way they have always done. If this is you my friend, then you are stagnant. Think of it like this, as a sales person in exhibitions, if you average 120 calls a day, ask yourself how many of those calls went exactly the same, some people even word for word – now ask yourself why? Why are you approaching every single prospect the same? Why are you not prepared to think outside the box? In this day and age, and I’m a big believer in this, people buy people first, and so they want to buy you on the telephone initially. Adapt to who you are talking to and I guarantee you will have a much more meaningful conversation then just doing your job. Every person is different, so adapt to every person you engage with. In the beginning I had a mercenary-type approach to getting in orders and winning new business, the foundations of any salesperson will tell you that sometimes you have to be ruthless – a predatory goal scorer,  which will help you to get over the line when needed most. These qualities are the building blocks initially. But as I have developed, I have come to realise how much I have personally adapted, and how it has made me much better for it. I now make sure the sales process is all about the client’s needs, adapting my pitch and technique by listening to what they say. The impact of social media platforms as well as the rise of digital developments means sales are becoming more integrated. Adapting to the client’s needs and moving away from a traditional exhibition stand approach (understanding integrated selling) does not isolate the client’s options. Remaining relevant and being aware of how modern media is evolving is also important. Your clients are digital, are you selling digitally as well? Difficult clients give the biggest rewards and I now apply myself with them totally different to how I was in the past. I no longer think of racking up impressive figures and being the highest goal scorer. I have adapted to ensure my clients are getting the most out of the show but also me – it will inevitably lead to repeat business and also help the show. And so, over the weekend with my 10 colleagues – all from different walks of life, different creed, ethnicity, sexuality, listening to them discuss and argue over innocuous petty things, I felt happy knowing I not only adapt at work but also personally as well. I’ve had to adapt to have a good time with them because four years ago I would have never been on a trip with this ‘riff raff’ seeing the beautiful nightlife of Dublin. This article was first published in the October issue of EN. Any comments? Email Annie Byrne
Garry Tyson
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