What type of sales person do you want to be?

1. The sales person who keeps calling back and finally closes the deal after 10 attempts in exchange for a big discount or other concessions.
Then you are probably selected for your drive and perseverance. With a number of certain skills and the right mindset you can probably reach the top.
2. The sales person who understands the client, and where the client says: “I get a good feeling from you. You understand exactly what we want. What do you think the next step is?” 
Your clients probably regularly ask you to go and work for them. They don’t realize you are selling them something.

Think like, and become, an effective sales person: make your organisation crisis-proof

There are 3 ways to achieve a Result as a sales person:
1. Only focus on so-called ‘ideal clients’ who combine perfectly with the ‘ideal sales person’: this depends on your attitude or fit with the client. Sales people here are selected for their being: are they similar enough to the client (the ‘corporate profile’)? Do they instil confidence in the target group? Do they have the ‘click’ factor?
2. You persevere, continue to call, and call back again: drive and perseverance are always necessary attributes in a role with responsibility for results. It can also be exhausting. A flashy company car or fancy job title don’t continue to compensate for this indefinitely. There is a danger of burning out. Potential top sales people often turn their backs on the sales industry if they are managed according to metrics and external motivation (‘I didn’t study for this’). Their employers are companies which expect to have high turnover of personnel. Their HR policy targets behaviouristic reflexes: “How can we motivate our sales people?”
Top sales people, however, find the challenge itself enough. They enjoy their job and don’t need external motivators to perform well. Money and recognition follow automatically.
3. Use the right Mind- and Skill-set: how much can you focus on the client (understand, listen), interact with them, and help them make a decision (closing). You make the difference here.

Despite increasing commoditisation and sales via the internet or social media, sales people will always be required to influence clients’ decision-making. Selling is an interactive process, after all. The sales person is still the decisive factor.

“Do we change, or not?” You make the difference here.

Corporate clients often recoil away from words such as change and change management… they want stability and gradual ‘change’. Marketing consultants advise against using these terms on websites and in brochures. But as ‘innovative’ sales people, we expect our clients to change. And conflict is created because there is a lot of resistance to change at organisation level. This is what makes our craft such a challenge. A sales person is an excellent example of a change expert.

See also: your biggest competitor is the status quo and do we change, or not?

The purchasing decision can only be influenced in the interaction dialogue between sales person and client. Without this interaction, you are only marketing and promoting. You try to convince the client with your own reasoning. So you will only attract clients who have already decided to change.

Copyright © 2011, René Knecht