Luxury Coach & Transportation

May 2019

Magazine for the professional limousine, charter and tour industry.

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MARKETING & SALES Star Sales Techniques From A Pro Nina Parson deploys a personal approach to winning business by creating genuine relationships that lead to more profits. By Lexi Tucker, LCT senior editor (With additional interviewing by Bill Faeth) C LEVELAND, Ohio — Nina Parson has found the best way to win over more clients is to talk to people you are not try- ing to sell to. e director of sales for Company Car and Limousine in Cleveland has increased her sales a stunning 733% since starting in June 2018. At a previ- ous operation, she took sales from $1.5 million to $12 million annually. Parson began her career in the hospitality business and then moved on to a small, family owned luxury transportation company that has since been sold to Company Car. She recently shared with LCT some of the techniques and advice that in January got her called out as "one of the best salespeople in the industry" at Bill Faeth's LABLive educational confer- ence in Nashville. Find Your Niche And Grow Sales stars aren't made overnight; methods must be put into practice and connections built. Parson had high sales numbers when she worked in the hospitality industry, and was able to maintain those relationships with former clients when she moved into luxury transportation. She at- tended LCT events, which helped her grow her affiliate work, but her real start came with trying to obtain con- tracts with schools. At the time, A Touch of Class, the company she worked for, had one coach, which prompted responses like, "You have one motorcoach…how are you going to move everyone at this school?" Yet, she still won their business. How? Persistence, along with some referrals. "I said, 'If you let us handle the work and take a leap of faith in us, we'll make sure we have the vehicles to make this work for you.' And they did. e school had never used us before — all they took it on was based upon a relationship I had built from just doing my job as a salesperson." After her former boss, Frank Pistone, died, Parson delved into detailed records of clients and spent much time looking into who was and wasn't still using their services. She called prospects and created email campaigns where she asked about what former clients liked and didn't like about their service. She also felt a shift to buses would help the com- pany create a niche others couldn't compete with. "You can't just think you are the preferred vendor. Just because you are serving them in one capacity doesn't mean you're getting all the work there is to be had." Starting Techniques To become a star salesperson, you cannot sit behind a desk. "e first thing you need to do is find out what you're doing right with your current clients, and ask if they'd refer you to just one person," she explains. "Also, find out what went wrong with those who aren't using you anymore so you can fix it." You shouldn't just be visiting your existing clients. You need to get your image, brand, and name out there through networking groups and events. "We live in a highly social world — it's all about who knows who and who knows what. at's why sites like Trip Advisor and Yelp are so popular; people want to hear from other's real life experiences, so be the person and/or company they are talk- ing about." Don't underestimate the power of being active on social media, and try to reach out to local schools of all grade levels. www.f bo.gov is the web address to hit for government contracts. e best part is they aren't chintzy on price, but be prepared to answer a vast amount of questions to win the business. An attentive salesperson will educate listeners. "Everyone in our industry can talk about their vehicles. When people ask distinctly, 'What makes you different?' You need to tell them. I think if anybody on your team doesn't know your story as a company, 2 8 WWW.LCTMAG.COM LUXURY COACH & TRANSPORTATION MAY 2019

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