“How do customers describe sales people?”
We’ve heard many customers (and sales people) say sales people are: pushy, aggressive, insincere, poor listeners, persistent, lack caring, fast talkers, and so on.
What’s really going on here?
Most sales people get seduced into reacting to sales opportunities. In other words, customers have already figured out what business problems they have, and in many cases know what solutions they want. In these situations the sales person has to react – these customers want to compare solutions between you and your competitors. When this happens sales conversations centre on product and price.
Sales people get drawn to these reactive opportunities, because on the surface, they look attractive: the customer has a need, the customer has a budget, and the customer is going to make a decision. The reality is: only a few customers are looking for a solution, many competitors will be selling to them, the win chance will be low, and it is likely to be a race to the bottom (a race to the lowest price).
Is there an alternative?
Sales people need to stop reacting to opportunities, stop selling, and stop being drawn into what on the surface looks like attractive opportunities.
Sales people need to start being proactive, meet with customers who don’t know they have potential business problems that could be solved through the use of your products and services.
The world has change – the power base has shifted from suppliers to customers. Today customers have all the choice and all the control. Today customers are not interested in sales people who are ‘talking brochures’ (expensive ones at that). They are interested in genuine collaborative problem solvers.
This is the future of selling; it’s all about knowing what’s going on in the customers’ business worlds, where there are: no explicit needs for your products and services, no budgets for your products and services, but where there are few competitors and large hidden opportunities for the sales person who can engage with customers as a consultant, as a genuine problem solver diagnosing how a customer runs their business, and empowering customers to visualise a better way to run their business.