Do you know a stereotypical salesperson? They go by various names like the “Gladhander,” The “Pinky-Ring-Fast-Talker,” the “Would-you-buy-a-used-car-from-that-person”. Sure, everyone knows a few people that fit these descriptions and usually attempt to avoid them. Brashness and persistence are not enough to succeed in sales.
With the advent of internet marketing, we’ve seen brashness and persistence taken to new heights. That stereotypical salesperson has morphed and cloned, into a new, virtual, digital version that uses the net’s many tools – smarmy personal-looking emails and e-blasts, distracting banners, hijacking links, annoying guru-experts (I sure hope you don’t put me in this category), the “stereotypical” sales and too many other “secret strategies and tactics.”)
How do you compete against that never-ending electronic cascade of hype? You can compete against them by being completely different and offering your prospects something better.
Products and services are complex and becoming more complicated every day. Competition is larger, faster, smarter, and better. It takes a new breed of salesperson to get the job done. The “Salesperson-as-Consultant” can win confidence and sell more effectively than the “How ’bout Those Bears” approach.
The “Salesperson-as-Consultant” approaches each prospect with a problem-solving attitude, asks “probing questions,” and listens actively to understand goals, concerns, attitudes, and needs. After gathering that data, the “Salesperson-as-Consultant” works with the prospect, offering solutions (often arrived at with the prospect) rather than just fast-talking to shove a sale down the prospects’ throat.
Consultative selling requires that salespeople are knowledgeable about the services and / or products they sell, but also know and understand the needs, wants, concerns, fears of their targeted customer so they can actually answer technical questions, recommend options, and properly represent to vendor, the products, and the services being sold. Those salespeople give great personal service also. They follow up to insure their customers are satisfied. They track shipments and production schedules if appropriate. They understand that most things are, at some level, a commodity and that one of the key differentiators is confidence and trust they can earn by providing that level of service. And, if something goes wrong, as it inevitably will some time, they take quick action to make it as right as possible.
The result is that the prospect is served better and becomes more confident of the choices they make. The salesperson makes more sales, but more importantly builds for the future based on the results of increased sales from a growing number of satisfied clients, ongoing relationships, and referrals.