When training sales reps, John DeRosa, director of contractor training at SRS Distribution, says there are two core concepts that all salespeople should be embracing if they want to be successful.

In this video chat, DeRosa breaks down how personal accountability and listening skills are essential ingredients to making sales in a roofing distribution environment. The message hits home when considering the supply chain issues the industry faced in recent years.

“There's a lot of challenges that we face each and every day,” he says. “There's market challenges, there's customer challenges, there's organizational challenges, there's tons of issues, especially what we've even experienced in the past year or so. But at the end of the day, what are we willing to do within our own power and control that's going to allow us to be successful in spite of those challenges?”

A quick way to do this is for a sales rep to think about one of their most successful sales and why it worked out, but then think about the “one that got away” and why it happened.

“If you’re going to take ownership of the fact that you single-handedly closed the deal, then you also need to take ownership of the fact that if the deal didn't go your way, that it's your fault as well,” he said.

He acknowledges that sometimes it truly isn’t a sales rep’s fault, but by participating in this self-reflection, they can find potential solutions for future interactions. When identifying those areas of improvement, DeRosa gives some food for thought: Instead of bombarding a customer with products and potential solutions, DeRosa suggests making the conversation about them to find out what they really need.

“Stop showing up and throwing up,” DeRosa says. “Customers are always going to place significantly more value on things that they say than on anything that we try to shove down their throat.”

For more strategies and advice, view the full video here, or visit our podcast page to download the episode and listen on the go.