The Salesperson Is The Difference
Vol 1. Indiana Dunes
As many of you know, every weekend that the weather permits, several of us choose a day and a place to hike and be coached. Because it is difficult to take notes, I am often asked to write a summary of what we have discussed.
This is the first of three summaries on last Saturday’s hike, which took place at Indiana Dunes:
1. The salesman is the difference
2. Why should customers buy from you?
3. Comfort Selling
The salesperson is the difference
Buyers today begin every purchase online! Unfortunately for them almost every message is “me to”; every product/service sounds very much alike, and unique verbiage is very quickly copied. Making it almost impossible for a buyer to determine the best solution from on-line research alone. This is why a salesperson must become the key differentiator today.
Harvard concluded that a buyer makes three decisions before making a purchase:
1. First, he evaluates the salesperson.
2. Then the company.
3. And, only then does he consider the product or service.
For the salesman this means the first interaction must make an impact. There must be something about you the salesperson that allows the connection to progress into an opportunity.
Before reaching out a salesperson must build his personal brand – that of a professional - in a way that shows he/she has the skills, expertise, and experience to fulfill the prospects needs and create a valid solution to the challenge the prospect is facing. This can best be accomplished today by building a powerful profile on LinkedIn. Your prospect will look up your profile prior to agreeing to a conversation with you!
The professional knows “a salesperson makes a paycheck – a professional makes a difference in a buyer’s life” and is proud of this responsibility.
Today, a salesperson must be a marketer as well as a salesperson, in a way that attracts the people he wants to serve (target market), builds trust, and creates a desire in the prospect to have a conversation.
Sales is a competitive industry and your biggest competition is not a product but every other sales representative. That is why the value you bring is so important to your company and your personal success. Every other salesperson is trying to contact the same prospect you want to build a relationship with. Everyone has a solution to sell, and is competing for your prospects time and money - which is why you must be the difference right from the start.
The first step is to know what your differentiators are and why they would matter to this buyer. Salespeople often identify differentiators that aren’t meaningful to the buyer – they are quick to offer a solution before they clearly understand the buyer’s needs. Before you offering your “value”, you must make sure the prospect sees it as valuable.
Do your industry research, ask questions and figure out what would be of interest to your client then begin to educate him in a way that challenges his thinking and spurs further conversation. Open-ended questions capture information that brings relevancy to your quest. It is the salesman’s obligation to help the prospect make informed buying decisions. To do this you must be an expert educator and know more about your product and service than your prospect can learn on the Internet. Have a deep understanding of your prospect and his industry before you present your solution.
Being a professional salesperson is hard work – don’t wait for something to happen or someone to do something – take control of your success and make a connection.