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Selling on Minnesota Nice, Not Price

Here's a company that's taking "nice" to the bank.

Here's a company that's taking "nice" to the bank.

I’m on a Northwest Airlines flight, headed home from an invigorating three days at a client’s annual sales retreat. It was held at Madden’s Resort on Gull Lake, 2½ hours or so from the Twin Cities.  Nice place.

No matter how long you’ve been doing business, if you keep your eyes, ears, and, most importantly, your mind open, you’ll invariably learn something. (I think it was Woody Allen who said, “Keep an open mind-but not so open that your brain falls out.”)

So, here is a company that is unlike any other I’ve worked with in a number of ways. In an industry rife with lawsuits, they have none. They truly live by a code of integrity, focus on the customer and respect for their own people; it’s not just verbiage on their “About Us” website page or framed for all to see in the lobby at headquarters. It’s not an act.  They’re real. And to prove it, they were celebrating moving from fifth place in size in their industry to fourth.  That’s considerable progress from 16th place, which is where they were just a few years ago.  And that’s an industry where price is often the number one or number two buying criterion.

Sure, they have their challenges, just like any other company. But there is something very special going on there. Hopefully down the road, with the client’s permission, we can document their progress toward sales effectiveness in a case study.

We were referred to this client by another Minnesotan in the sales performance improvement space. That person has the business savvy, integrity and self-confidence to admit to they couldn’t deliver what the client needed. Now, there is a trusted advisor.

I don’t ever remember being so looked after by a client. One team member after another made sure I was as comfortable as I could be. They were interested in not only what I had to say, but in me. This wasn’t rehearsed or part of a plan. If they treated me this way, I can only imagine how they treat their customers. 

This, I learned, is Minnesota Nice.  And they’re taking it to the bank.


One Response

  1. Glad you had a good meeting with my favorite client!

    Jill – from Minnesota

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