BEHIND YOUR BACK: Attention Owners: It’s About Your People

Unfiltered insights from a purchasing manager’s perspective.

By: Bradley Hartmann

This guy was a stud, pure and simple.  With 25 years in the LBM industry, he had experience and expertise,  His answers were insightful. His questions even more so. He was funny—a natural storyteller. It was obvious this guy would make it easy for me to say yes.

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It didn’t hurt that he was 6’5″ and participated in  Iron  Man  triathlons (you know, a 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike ride followed by a breezy 26.2-mile marathon).

“I’ve got one coming up in a week,” he mentioned as he polished off a Guinness. Stud.

Later, I went online to learn more about him. His LinkedIn profile had tumbleweeds: no details, a paltry three connections. I moved on to his company’s website. Surely they would be bragging about this guy.

What did I find? Nothing. Nada. It was another example of the gap between what you say—and what you do.

“Our people are our biggest asset,”and/or “Our people are our competitive advantage.” Really? Are you sure? When I visit your company’s website, you tell me about everything except your people. Your website blares, “Let me tell you about our door and mill work shop!” Not interested. I don’t care if they’re built by the Keebler elves in an enchanted forest. Tell me how much they cost.

Your website screams, “We have four locations located near you!” As long as you can deliver on time without a gas surcharge, drive from Canada if you want.

Your website boasts, “Free consultation!” Gee, when does the giving end? I typically don’t pay for a sales pitch.
Here is the single largest gap between what you say—and what you do: If your people are your biggest asset, tell me about them on your website. Prove it.

You know that section on your website about your executive team? Delete it. Replace it with bios of your sales team.
No offense to Mr. Third-Generation-LBM-Owner, but I don’t care about you as much as I care about your employees. I care about the sales rep who is planted in my office. I want to know where’s he’s from, what he’s accomplished, and what he’ll do for us after he lands our business. The first sale made is the sales rep—not the CEO.

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