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How sales pros distance themselves from the competition. - by TimC

Poor salespeople are on the defensive today.  They are reducing prices, giving away extras, allowing prospects to erode  margins and generally losing control of the sales process.  On the other hand professional salespeople are on the offensive.  They are selling value not price, customer benefits not product features and they are creating positive long term relationships by honoring their commitments, providing incredible service and helping their customers reduce their costs while not sacrificing value.

 

I have observed thousands of salespeople during my twenty –five plus sales training career. I have found that there are twenty four ways in which these pro's are taking quantum leaps ahead of their competition. (Here they are in no particular order.)

 

They have passion.

 

They are more passionate about their opportunity to be of service, to learn, to improve their status and lifestyle.  They are more passionate about their organization's products and services. They are passionate about developing their sales and human relationship skills.  They are more passionate about life.  They are passionate about solving their clients problems  and about learning everything they can about their customer's business. 

 

They go the extra mile.

 

In an age where organizations are putting a great deal on salespeople's plates to do: sell, market, service, administer, promote, solve problems and so on, it is no wonder that poor salespeople have less time to sell and learn.  Successful salespeople promise a lot and deliver more. Going the extra mile, means doing more for a customer than they expect, demand or pay for.  It is doing all the little extras that communicate they care and that their clients business is important to them.  This philosophy helps them build solid relationships that are not impervious to competition but, are certainly resistant to the constant onslaught of poor salespeople selling lower price and empty promises.

 

They are a resource.

 

Poor salespeople sell products, services, features, benefits, what's available, the solutions to problems, price and any number of other specific or general commodities. The pro's that put distance between them and their nearest competitors, sell themselves as a resource for their clients.  Being a resource, they are asked for their advise, counsel, opinions on a number of related or unrelated issues.  They bring creative ideas and information to their customers with regularity. 

 

They invest in themselves.

 

The pro's that are out-distancing their nearest competitors, are doing it with improved skills, greater understanding, increased awareness and the integration of this information into their daily selling activity.  What I am referring to here is the consistent pursuit of knowledge that will allow them to continue to compete and win in the marketplace of tomorrow. It takes time, money and commitment to devote yourself to a path of self-improvement.  But these pro's know that the payoff will far exceed the cost.

 

They love what they are doing.

 

People who live with inner acceptance, peace and harmony live life spontaneously.  They spend their time in the now moments of their life.  With this philosophy, they enjoy and live life to the fullest.  In other words, they have fun.  They are fun to be with.  They don't take life or themselves too seriously.  They know that business is only a game.  They win some and lose some, but in the losing there is growth and in the winning there is new opportunity.  Their definition of winning  is beating their own personal best, not  beating other people.

 

They cultivate support.

 

Successful salespeople know that they can't always get the answers their customers need, or solve their clients problems without the support of other people, both inside and outside their organization. They are the customers ambassador inside their organizations. They build bridges of support with customer service reps, executives and anyone needed to help serve their customer in a satisfactory way.  They are firm and unyielding, yet friendly and compassionate when dealing with other people.  They build bridges of understanding and willingness.

 

They believe.

 

They believe in themselves, their mission, their organization, their products and services, their management and the free marketplace that permits them to help others while they help themselves.  Their self-belief is a fiber that is woven into everything they do. They have high expectations of themselves, their organization's ability to perform and their clients willingness to give them business. They build strong relationships that, even though they may be tested from time to time, can withstand the mis-communications and errors that will inevitably be made.

 

They are focused.

 

They know that it is critical to maintain focus.  Every day, every activity, every sales call and every working moment they are aiming at a specific target.  They believe that in order to be effective they must do one thing at a time.  They will have multiple projects going on simultaneously, but they are only working on one moment by moment.  They know the tremendous power of singleness of purpose.

 

They are everywhere.

 

Exposure in today's world is critical for success.  These salespeople know that their customers are their competitors best prospects.  They network, they collect business cards, they attend meetings and seminars looking for new contacts that will contribute to their career.  They appear to be everywhere.  They don't waste their time in useless ways but they target their exposure.  They insure that each exposure keeps them on the right track.  They are not looking to just add names to their database but to collect relationships that can aid their career.

 

They study their client’s business.

 

They are walking encyclopedias of information about their customers.  They know their objectives, histories, goals, problems, frustrations, expectations, style of doing business,  needs, dreams and their people.  They are perceived by their customer's employees as one of them, not an adversary.  They are on the lookout for methods, tools, ideas and information that they can bring to their clients to help them improve performance, success, income, market penetration, positive growth and longevity.

 

They study their competitors.

 

They are not surprised when they don't get business.  They know the weaknesses as well as the strengths of their competition. They know their competitor's philosophy, people, attitudes and vulnerabilities  They freely recommend another firm, if they believe it is in the best long-term interests of their prospect to do business with them.  They know that when the prospect does business with a competitor  they have recommended,  they may have lost a sale, but they have not lost a potential client.  And they understand the difference.  They are playing the long game. 


 

They keep in touch.

 

Out of sight, out of mind.  Successful salespeople who put distance between themselves and their less successful counterparts, know the value of staying in touch with their clients.  They do this in a variety of ways.  By informing them regularly about new organizational policies or procedures, new products or services, success stories, market conditions in other industries that might impact on their customers and any number of bits of information that is of potential value to them.  They do this with newsletters, faxes, letters, telephone calls, meetings and special forums.  They do not waste their clients time with useless approaches like, "I was in the area so I thought I would drop by".  

 

Well there they are.  The concepts that are used by professional salespeople who are each day putting more and more distance between them and their closest rivals.  How are you doing?  Which areas need some attention, if you are to continue to compete successfully in the marketplace of tomorrow?

 

 

 

 






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