Reece Theriot, Fulcrum Sales and Marketing, on Surviving and Thriving in Uncertain Economic Times

Business success is contingent upon effective sales strategies, no matter what field you’re in. Looking for guidance in surviving today’s trying economic times, Jan Swift of Discover Lafayette called upon Reece Theriot of Fulcrum Sales and Marketing to share his expertise.

Reece Theriot is young, thirty years old to be exact. Yet, he has over ten years of experience in sales and marketing. A graduate of UL – Lafayette in public relations, he realized quickly that this is not a big market for publicists. Wanting to stay in Lafayette, Reece joined Arthrex, the largest medical device sales company in the U. S. He learned that he had a knack for listening to what his doctor clients needed and was able to find effective solutions. He earned his MBA from UL-Lafayette during that time.

As an instructor of Sales and Entrepreneurship in the B. I. Moody III College of Business for nine semesters, Theriot would open the class with the infamous clip of Alec Baldwin playing “Blake” in Glengarry Glen Ross where he berated the beleaguered salespeople and yelled at them that they should “Always be Closing (ABC’s)” no matter what it took. Theriot stressed that this stereotype of salespeople provides a lesson in all the wrong ways successful relationships are built with potential clients.

As a professor, he learned that it was difficult for his students to get hired, as most companies preferred to hire experienced salespeople over an entry-level candidate. As a sales trainer and consultant, he also realized that the majority of companies didn’t need sales training, they needed someone to “own the problem” of sales and help them solve it. As Theriot says, “They didn’t want the recipe book; they wanted someone to cook the recipe.”

Theriot took these lessons and opened Fulcrum Sales & Marketing to provide meaningful opportunities for sales professionals to become certified in the best techniques. Fulcrum also outsources a “boots on the ground” sales force that companies can hire to help them find new business opportunities, make product pitches, and create customer relationships. They assist with inbound and outbound marketing strategies, which used to be referred to as “pull and push” marketing.

While most companies today engage in digital marketing efforts, it can be a scattershot effort aimed at “selling to everyone and making money.” Theriot says it is important to define “who” your ideal client is so that you can understand what your marketing campaign should look like and who it should target. By proactively defining your customer and identifying your company’s core strength, you can offer the specific solution for what the buyer needs to solve their problem/weakness.

The challenge is to position your product in the mind of the consumer so you can stand out as being different and distinguish your product from that offered by competitors. Theriot gave an example of service companies who will tell potential clients, “What makes us different from others is the quality of our service.” This is ineffective because everyone says that. He counseled that if you can show people how your service is similar to that which they have experienced but different in a way that meets their particular needs, the customer will recognize your value. It’s a lot easier to sell “different” than “being better,” according to Theriot.

Theriot quoted UL – Lafayette Business Professor Geoff Stewart who is known for saying, “Where the seller’s strength lines up with the buyer’s weakness, this becomes the seller’s opportunity.” Every company has external opportunities and threats. A professional salesperson will identify “who” their ideal client is, then dive in and ask questions about the prospect’s weakness and how their external threats line up with the seller’s strengths. That is where a professional salesperson has the real opportunity to serve the customer.

It’s important during this economic downturn to be intentional about getting new customers as well as retaining old ones. Many businesses grow organically over time, through word of mouth and exceptional service. In today’s trying times, however, this word of mouth marketing will slow down. Businesses will be well-served to get their message out to customers and communicate the value their service brings. People are focused on saving money and getting a return on their investment. Gear your message as to how your company can specifically meet the client’s needs and help them get value for their hard-earned money.

“It’s important during this economic downturn to be intentional about getting new customers as well as retaining old ones. Businesses will be well-served to get their message out to customers and communicate the value and return on investment that their service brings.”

Many digital ad buyers are pulling their ads to save cash, so ad prices are dropping. It is a good time to get into digital marketing if you haven’t already done so. Most businesses would benefit from this to keep their business front and center. Theriot spoke highly of Shopify as a great e-commerce tool providing a platform for the local mom and pop stores who are interested in selling online. Linkedin is Theriot’s favorite networking and information platform as it is a place for ambitious business people looking to improve themselves and make meaningful connections.

At a recent conference put on by Fulcrum Sales and Marketing along with Acadian Capital Research, sales insight was shared on “Finding Buyers When Nobody’s Buying:”

1. Understand your company’s unique strengths.
2. Let that understanding fuel your competitiveness & drive innovation.
3. Be an empathetic and genuine problem-solver.
4. Make sure you are solving the right problems for your customers; this will help you identify the untapped potential within your current customer base
5. Make it easy to do business with your company.

Reece Theriot is a generous professional who freely shares his knowledge. While sales come naturally to him, it doesn’t to many of us. We can all learn to be more focused and intentional in our efforts to sell our wares and services by following the advice of professionals. We thank Reece Theriot for taking the time to help us recognize that by helping others, we also help ourselves and our business’s bottom line. May this podcast inspire you to figure out “who” you’re helping and what your core strengths are so that you may make a difference in others’ lives.

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