Before I became a business owner eleven years ago, I was a sales manager. Before I was a sales manager, I was a seller out in the field. Early on I decided I didn’t ever want to be “that kind” of a salesperson. You know the type – the ones who don’t listen and care for their clients and who do not value the work of the Account Executive, Account Manager, or Account Representative. They’re usually referred to as “slimy” salespeople.
It’s true. There are some of them out there and they’re pretty easy to spot.
As I worked with hundreds of sellers before, and over the past decade consulted with hundreds more, I realized salespeople generally mean well. While there are people only in it for themselves, they typically do little harm outside of giving the rest of the industry a bad name.
I’m not saying your friendly neighborhood salesperson will have banners hung that read “Heroes Work Here” any time in the near future. I can safely say – especially in times of economic recovery – there is a significant place for relationship building, problem solving, and considerate purveyors of business to business services. As America ramps up and adjusts to the ever-changing climate, here’s a perspective for everyone in the professional sales world.
Few people want to be sold to. People want to be heard.
No one has time to waste. Prospects make time for people who care and help.
Don’t make it about yourself. Focus on the problems your clients have.
Cookie cutter answers rarely work. Once you’ve listened, the real work begins.
Tonality, timing, and value will serve you. Don’t go barging in where you haven’t been invited.
Don’t just sell. Fix. Solve. Help. Build value.
The recipe to landing on the good side of sales is pretty simple. The good ones simply pay attention to what works and they take a breath before starting that sales process, or contacting that prospect. To those of you who sell professionally – you may not be heroes, but you are, in fact, an important part of the economic revival this nation is craving.