Ever regret encountering the self-serving sales rep? Then, you are probably talking to the wrong vendor. Effective sales work means that the customer received something. Buyers who truly believe that a sales rep is wasting time, not delivering value, or making life worse than before, need to remember that they have options. Buyers who are unfortunate enough to be forced to purchase from a specific vendor, are not really buying. They just complete orders that a boss told them to take. However, professionals who are truly buyers, expect to benefit appropriately from the seller interaction. And, the successful seller will be certain that the buyer legitimately does.
Getting From The Giving
Sales is hard work! It only looks easy when observed from a distance, or when done extremely well. Successful sales professionals seldom get commissions. They earn them! And, they earn them by delivering value. Value may be clothed in a good, service, or solution. But, it is undeniable. Typically, products come with information and service. A discerning customer prefers a caramel latte with a smile versus one out of a machine. An unreasonable customer will demand the technology solution with free additional software and often will get it, although it means unknowingly paying for it in a different line item. Ironically sales professionals who give more, often end up selling more. Consequently, both professionals get more.
Service Is Success
The giving does not stop upon receiving the commission. Sales success is a long-term proposition. Follow-up contacts are additional opportunities to invest intellectual capital. Just checking in on a customer results in sharing additional intelligence, or listening to the latest gripe begging for a solution. While the amateur worries about wasting customers’ time, the veteran knows the benefit of bringing value in the form of industry insight, new samples, or personal opportunities to benefit the contact. Such personal touches are the difference between fulfilling an order and establishing repeat business. Individualized service is what places the welcome mat at the customer’s door when the real sales professional arrives.
Upon consummating business, value results from making the customer’s life easier. It can be more inventory, more time in the day, the ability to make the boss look brilliant. Sell the product or service. But, give the buyer something they really want! Seek opportunities to serve. Remember to ask for the business. Leave a reason for the customer to want to see you again. Bringing a benefit that solves a professional problem is a great place to start. Quid pro quo is not guaranteed. But deliver a personalized experience or advantage, and it is much harder for the buyer to say no. So, what does the customer really need and value? Well, just listen. What if the busy seller feels the customer needs to respect their time? Don’t worry. With that attitude the sales professional is about to have more time that they can use looking to replace that former customer’s sales volume.
By Glenn W Hunter
Principal of Hunter And Beyond