July 20, 2010 by Bob Hill
Posted in: closing, In this week's e-newsletter - Sales & Marketing, Latest News & Views - Sales & Marketing, New Research, sales management, Sales meeting ideas, Value
More than 1,000 decision makers were asked to describe what it means to be a great salesperson in one word or phrase. Here are the top 10 responses:
- Knowledgeable: Prospects gravitate to salespeople who are considered experts in the field, which is why ambitious salespeople looks for opportunities to boost their credibility by speaking at conferences, joining industry organizations, gaining professional certifications and contributing to industry publications.
- Professional: Handle every account like you would want your account handled and keep prospects in the loop every step of the way. Make respect and integrity the cornerstones of your approach.
- Thorough: Make sure you cover every detail with prospects and you follow up (and follow through) on every promise you make to them and their requests for more information. Make pre-call research part of the process, so you can offer solutions that speak directly to each prospect’s specific needs.
- Results-oriented: Quantify the type of ROI a prospect can expect, and provide some reference points so prospects can see how much money they stand to lose by not agreeing to do business with you.
- Problem-solving: Don’t just offer a product or service, offer solutions that can help each prospect’s business thrive.
- Relationship-oriented: Play for the long term, and gain as many internal champions as you can at each buyer’s company. Build the type of relationship where loyal customers think of you as an extended member of their corporate family.
- Customer-focused: Put the buyer’s needs before your own, and always present value propositions in a way that explains how each feature and benefit works to the prospect’s advantage. Work as an advocate who the buyer can trust to create a working relationship where everyone walks away a winner.
- Responsive: Take personal accountability for handling customer requests, and follow up with each customer personally to ensure he/she is satisfied with the outcome.
- Good communicators: Determine which mode of communication the prospect prefers (e.g., e-mail, cell phone, text, etc.) and use that as a way to stay in contact. In addition, keep prospects on top of any changes to existing products that may impact their business. The less buyers are taken by surprise, the better.
- Reliable: Do what you say you’ll do, when you say you’ll do it and how you say you’ll do it. Let customers know they can count on you to get the job done — and better than anyone else.
Source: Value-Added Selling (3rd Edition) by Tom Reilly, McGraw Hill 2010.