Everyone Should Be “Manny’s Friend”

Posted on March 9, 2016 by Mark Barnard

“The sales department isn’t the whole company, but the whole company better be the sales department.”  -Philip Kotler, Northwestern University

It was early in the morning back in January and while the sun was just rising and most people were still fast asleep I heard the unmistakable sound of a delivery truck winding down the road towards the lake where I was inspecting construction of our new lake house. Soon the rumble of a diesel engine was replaced with another and down the hill came a Moffat carrying engineered floor joists. The driver was pleasant and asked if I knew where the load should be set down. I suggested a spot close to where I assumed the framing crew would want the material and he made four trips back up the hill to the truck and back to the lot.

His movements on the machine told me it was not his first rodeo as he championed the load neatly side by side before dismounting and pulling out his tablet. He took a photo of the load and then asked me if I would mind signing for it. I scribbled my best signature I could with my forefinger and after he asked me what my first name was. I said, “Mark” to which he replied, “Oh, you’re Manny’s friend!” I chuckled and said, “Yeah, I guess I am Manny’s friend. Is that what they are calling me at the yard?” He obviously felt a bit embarrassed having made the statement and tried his best to cover up stating that he was told this load was going to a friend of the president of his company. I asked him who had told him that this was Manny’s friend’s house and he said he could not recall (not at all convincingly by the way). I laughed again and said, “I would suggest that you tell the person who warned you that this was a delivery to “Manny’s Friend” that they should consider all customers to be friends of Manny.” I went further to ask him what he would have done differently if this was not the case and he replied, “nothing really.” I inquired if his delivery was more than what is typically the norm while delivering wood to a job site and if so I wanted to make certain I did not miss it if there was some pageantry presented. Again, he said “no.”

We talked some small talk about the tablet he was using and if he liked it and about how business was for the yard. I was impressed by his communication skills and outgoing personality and thought that the company was fortunate to have such a good “sales driver” on their team. Later that day, I called my friend Manny and we shared a laugh and talked about how important it is for everyone in the company to be selling, not just to his friends. In a market where everything counts, it is important to remind our team that it is a requirement for everyone to look at their actions, words and follow up as a function of selling to their friends not just Manny’s…

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