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8 Min Read

Putting Out Fires with the Sales Team

Signs have been a foundation of human society since man began to write. They signal us, guide us, inform us, and allow us to express ourselves. In our society onc cannot look any direction without seeing a sign of some kind, some as simple as street signs or house numbers. Signs create a first impression for a company, and begins to build a companies professional image. One thing very few in our society consider however is “that finished signs are not sitting on shelves waiting to be shipped. There is an art to building signs with so many variables and options. Outside the sign industry world people have no idea what it really takes to make a sign” - Doug Hechler. At Dualite we have elevated sign construction to an art form which we are committed to mastering.

"Finished signs are not sitting on shelves waiting to be shipped. There is an art to building signs with so many variables and options. Outside the sign industry world people have no idea what it really takes to make a sign"

What is Sales in the Sign Industry?

“Sales is the beginning” to the birth of a companies' image solution, our sales people “take the needs of the customer and translate those into new branded sign programs” -Jonathan Brouwer. The sales people at Dualite are not “the cheesy salesman or saleswoman which can really put a negative taste in a buyers mouth, our sales people are honest, just trying to make a living and make a new working relationship which is mutually beneficial for both companies” - Justin Young. Despite what others may think the salesforce “do not have it easy, nor do they just golf and have fun,” they operate with a certain level of stress, never truly off the clock because “they are the first responders to our customers and must take action when a product or service was not met with the utmost quality.” - Hechler. As Justin Young puts it; “My philosophy and the way I manage my accounts, is that I like to be involved in the start to finish of the process. Making sure all of the promises that I made as a sales rep are kept. I want to pass along all the concerns or comments from the buyers in regards to quality and design so they can be implemented into the final product, making sure that nothing leaves our shop that isn't perfect. That's all part of the sales team responsibility.”

"They are the first responders to our customers and must take action when a product or service was not met with the utmost quality"

So what does it take to be in Dualite sales?

“Sales in the sign industry is exciting and challenging all at the same time. To be able to work with high level decision makers at some of the top brands in the country is quite the privilege and experience. Being involved with the design and implementation of their signage is something I take pride in.” -Young. To be trusted with this level of input and given the responsibility of being able to represent major brands around the nation, our sales people have to take pride in what they do. Beyond this our sales people seek “to listen to understand” the customer so they can represent them faithfully “from inception through production all the way to installation.” - Vern Wooten. With this being the core motivation which drives our sales force “the process is slightly different at Dualite” than other companies, “at Dualite, the sales reps stay involved with the end buyers to make sure they are getting the best customer service. Yes, this reduces the number of new accounts a sales person can go after and manage, but it delivers a better buying experience for our customers.” - Young. It is this approach that drives customer loyalty which is what gives Dualite an edge. “It is difficult to break in with new customers because they normally have more than one job/location which will be done over years time and they need to trust this work will get done” and because our sales people remain involved with the end buyer it puts us in position to be there when customers, new or old need us. - Hechler.

The Dualite sales force has over 200 years in combined sales experience, meaning they understand that “sales is not all handshakes and smiles, that sales is the tip of the spear for everything on both the customer side and the manufacturing side" -Brouwer. This philosophy allows Dualite to maintain existing accounts but also places us in the right space to “craft opportunities for ourselves that aren't always obvious. In sales, there is this lost art where you need to listen more to what the customers needs are as opposed to trying to dominate the conversation while also coming across as confident and having unwavering faith in ourselves.” Sales “needs to be determined, persistent and not afraid to fail" while also being “great listeners, understanding the needs of the customer." -Hechler.

It is all about communication and follow through, things are very dynamic and we must stay open with our customers. This means we keep in touch with our team and work to convey updated information to our customers.” In addition to this the sales people must “work to understand the technology in the sign and related industries, and need to train on emerging trends and equipment” -Brouwer. Our sales team wants to make all customers feels as if they are “valuable friends who should never feel unimportant” -Hechler. An important step in this is developing the “emotional intelligence and staying neutral when working with potential customers” as this allows us to step in as leaders in the industry, and thinking of ourselves and our customers as part of the same team.. As leaders we must not just “call the shots and make decisions, but as good leaders we need to develop our teams, and empower them to meet or exceed their goals” -Hechler. Finally, the most important thing to remember while working in sales is that you are not alone, “every person at Dualite is in sales. We all represent the company, its products and standards” -Brouwer and we should all take pride in the impact we can make. As Vern Wooten puts it: “it gets personal for me, I feel as if I've violated the customers trust if something goes wrong.”

“It gets personal for me, I feel as if I've violated the customers trust if something goes wrong.”