Transported to Success

By Cindy Waxer

Carolyn Gable went from 14 years of waiting tables to running a multimillion-dollar company. She’s now the CEO of New Age Transportation, Distribution & Warehousing Inc., a third-party logistics company that manages inbound and outbound freight transportation, and her company’s sales revenues are projected to reach $15 million in 2002.

Gable entered the transportation business in 1983 as a sales rep and eventually launched her own company in 1989. She says that the following time-tested selling techniques are what fuelled her meteoric rise to the top.

Make the right impression.
Gable believes that you only have 10 seconds to make a good impression – so always check your problems at the door. Enter a room smiling and with a strong belief in the product you’re pitching.

“Selling is about having that energy, having that passion for whatever you’re selling – whether it’s a widget, freight or a computer. You have to think that what you’re selling is the very best thing out there,” says Gable.

See opportunities for what they really are.
Try looking at each and every encounter as a chance to meet new people and make new friends, not just to seal a deal. Prospects will pick up on your great attitude and respond accordingly.

“Every table I waited on was an opportunity to have fun and meet people, and that helped me develop great personal skills,” says Gable.

Never say never.
You might have been named Sales Rep of the Century but that doesn’t mean it’s time to coast on your credentials. Selling is cyclical, so be prepared for both record-breaking revenues and months when your cold calls go unanswered.

“You could have this great, wonderful account and all of a sudden your contact gets fired and a new person comes in and they want to bring in their people, so sales is very humbling. You can never sit back and rest on your laurels,” warns Gable.

Distribute your eggs.
Placing all of your eggs in one basket is just asking for trouble, according to Gable. There’s no telling when your top client will turn to the competition, so be certain your smaller accounts are always made to feel special.

Gable says: “Don’t focus all your energy on one big account – still go after your small-sized and mid-sized accounts. Never make that big account your bread and butter.”