All posts by Sean McPheat

Hi! I'm the founder and Managing Director of MTD Sales Training - we offer sales training solutions for companies both large and small. I'm blessed to work with 25 of the most talented trainers in the UK....well, I did recruit them! ;-) Today, we've delivered training in over 23 countries to over 2,500 different organisations and 50,000 staff. Our clients include Xerox, Friends Provident, Starbucks, Taylor Wimpey, CISCO, Allianz and Lloyds TSB to name but a few.

Mastering The Art Of Knowing Exactly What The Customer Wants

What do you consider to be the greatest skill that any salesperson should develop to the level of excellence?

Presentation skills?

The ability to negotiate effectively?

Prospecting skills?

Although all these are definitely important, the key skill that salespeople always need to develop is the art of active listening. It really does set the average apart from the excellent.

But many salespeople listen with the intent just to find out information so they can present the main benefits of their product to the buyer. This, though, may only take you on part of the journey. In order to go the full distance, you need to recognise and critique exactly what the customer is saying and meaning.

To critique means to analyse, assess or evaluate. After the customer has spoken, take a moment to review exactly the point they have just made. Most comments can come under three main headings; opinion, experience or facts.

Firstly, opinion. They may say something like “I believe that if we….” Or “I may be wrong, but I think….”

Identify if the idea or personal opinion is simply that; an opinion. If it is, you can enquire how that idea is supported or in what direction it will take you both.

Of course, opinions matter, and we need to create a safe environment for buyers to express them. But you can also add further ideas by asking “what if….?” or “what else….?”. What you’re trying to do is identify if their opinion is factual or just a personal viewpoint based on a possible misjudgement or hearsay. If they have followed others views to get that opinion, you might find out where it originated.

I find saying something like “That’s interesting…tell me more….” gets them to open up about the subject and helps you to clarify their viewpoint. Remember, their view may be based on misconceptions or things they have heard on the grapevine.

Secondly, what they say may come from experience, as in “when we tried…..we found that…..”

Past experiences can give you valuable learning that can help prevent future costly mistakes. You can get useful lessons from past experiences that prove helpful and constructive in making decisions. However, we have to make sure that we are comparing apples with apples here. Failing to realise that different contexts can lead to different results often leads us down a path to incorrect conclusions.

Experience only is useful if we gain wisdom from it. If the knowledge and understanding we gain cannot be replicated, then it may also copy the wrong directions. So, notice if the buyer is comparing the correct background with current situations, and identify if the ideas they gained actually fit into the current picture. If not, your critique could help you to show that their experience may be out-of-date or incorrectly applied.

Third, there’s facts. Usually attributable to market facts or product information, and come in comments like “We have sold 14% more this year than last” or “Our margins have dropped by 5% over the last 6 months.”

This information helps us to reduce uncertainty and decreases risk, as it helps us to build specific journeys on the path to solving problems. But if the data is incorrect, too generic or not comparable, then it can lead us down the wrong path and lead to poor decision-making. By analysing the figures the customer is giving you, you can re-assure yourself you are talking real facts and not just ideas that are based on incorrect knowledge.

By ascertaining if the customer is detailing opinions, experience or specific facts, you are able to critique the feedback much more effectively and identify the journey you can then take with the conversation. This proves you have been actively listening and not just taking what they say at face value.

Happy Selling!

Sean McPheat

Managing Director
MTD Sales Training
http://www.mtdsalestraining.com

(Image courtesy of dollarphotoclub)

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Here’s A Sales Challenge That Guarantees Results…

Occasionally, I set a challenge to my sales team and they enjoy it as much as I do, as it stretches them but it also challenges them to do something they should be doing on a regular basis anyway.

It’s a challenge in which everyone wins…the team, everyone around them and also our clients.

It’s risk-free, costs nothing and motivates anyone who is participating.

Within a two-week period, I ask each team member to set aside a two-day period of time (they could be consecutive but they don’t have to be) where their job is to be the inspirational team member.

Now, before you switch off and say that’s too airy-fairy for us, think of the benefits you’ll get.

And you only have to do it for two days.

All the other days you can go back to being your normal miserable, sullen self, if you want! (No offence. I just know a lot of salespeople!)

During those two days, their job is to be positive, challenging, inspiring and stimulating.

They have to find quotes that are uplifting and memorable.

They have to build their team up with short activities and exercises that make them think and, if possible, laugh.

If at 11.18am they lose momentum and aren’t the inspirational person they promised to be, then someone reminds them and at 11.19am they start again.

No pressure. No brick-bats. Just a fun time that allows others to see a positive side and encourage others to share that positivity.

What results have I seen from this? Well, sometimes it backfires and people lose the will to maintain the positive attitude for more than an hour or so.

Then I just remind them why we’re doing it and everyone bucks up again.

It provides us with an opportunity to build each other up. If one person chooses a Monday, another chooses Tuesday and someone else Wednesday, then we have three consecutive days of positive input in the office that is driven by people who want to do it rather than being forced to.

We have joke of the hour, quotation sessions, great sales stories, inspirational videos off You-Tube, podcasts, film snippets and suchlike that build people up without wasting too much of their busy time, and the team now look forward to what we have in store for them.

Think about how something like this might work in your office. If you’re normally out on the road, see if you can arrange for yourself to be the chosen person for the one day that you happen to be in the office.

If you don’t want to commit to a whole day, just have an hour of inspiration.

Be the kind of person that the admin team look forward to seeing whenever you are in the office, catching up on admin.

Download some inspirational videos that make your team smile or find some great quotes that can be put up on the wall for the day.

Be careful, though.

You don’t want to do this too often, or you may find the positivity is contagious and you may become addicted to it.

And we can’t have you being as positive as my team are, can we?!!!

Happy Selling!

Sean McPheat

Managing Director
MTD Sales Training
http://www.mtdsalestraining.com

(Image courtesy of dollarphotoclub)

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8 Traits That Will Transform You From Salesperson To Trusted Consultant

Most salespeople we see on our courses like to consider themselves as consultants rather than salespeople.

They tend to think that salespeople get tarred with the same brush and like to think they can rise above this label and be viewed as a consultant because it sounds better to prospects and looks better on their business card.

But when we ask them what makes the difference between the two, many of the answers are pretty vague and sometimes downright incorrect.

It’s possible that many salespeople just like the sound of being a consultant, but lack the business acumen to actively apply it.

Just because a prospect may ‘consult’ with you doesn’t automatically turn you into a consultant.

Here’s my take on what consultants do, as opposed to salespeople:

1. Consultants do their research on their products, their competitors’ products, their industry and their prospects before thinking about approaching any prospects

2. Consultants have a clear and precise level of business acumen that sets them apart from other salespeople

3. Consultants are viewed as business advisors by prospects and customers, rather than someone trying to sell something

4. Consultants recognise the soft skills that are required to achieve rapport and long-term relationships with prospects

5. Consultants are aware of the psychological aspects of business relationships that helps them understand the specific nature of the buyer’s business decision-making processes

6. Consultants know more about the businesses they are approaching than their competitors do

7. Consultants create opportunities for the buyer’s business that they didn’t know existed before the consultant worked with them

8. Consultants become experts in their field and are actively sought by industry and business colleagues

Many salespeople do some or even most of these, or so they tell us. But if you were to genuinely assess your agenda, strategies and tasks, you’ll find that the majority of these elements are done to a less a degree than is necessary for you to be considered as a ‘consultant’ to most companies.

That doesn’t mean that you aren’t playing a valuable role with you current and future clients.

It just means that there is always potential for you to achieve more and closer relationships with clients who require you to take on this consultative role.

Happy Selling!

Sean McPheat

Managing Director
MTD Sales Training
http://www.mtdsalestraining.com

(Image courtesy of dollarphotoclub)

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A Great Sales Lesson That Will Make You Memorable To Your Customers

There was a story going around the internet that was probably apocryphal, but I like to think it was true, as it gives a valuable lesson in sales, if not in life generally.

A university student at a business school was carrying out his final exam when the last question came up. It simply asked:

“What is the first name of the lady who cleans this study room?” 

Now, the student had seen the lady many times, and had exchanged pleasantries  with her a few times in passing, but certainly didn’t know her name.

Surely, this was a joke question?

How would anyone in the class know her name? Why was it important in the context of the exam?

He handed his exam paper in with that last question left blank. Later, he asked the professor about the question. It was a joke, wasn’t it?

The professor replied that no, it was a serious question, and was there to test a business theory. In the students’ future, there would be many people who would cross their paths. Some would be vital to their careers, some would be influencers in their decision-making, some would be just fleeting passers-in-the-night.

“But,” continued the professor, “you may never know which one is which, so in order to be effective in future business, it is good practice to know the names of people you meet, even if it may be the one and only time you meet them. It could be they play a vital part in the overall scheme of things. You might not know it yet, but they may be the next important decision-maker in your life!”

The student paid attention to that lesson, and decided to take the professor’s words seriously. He found out the first name of the cleaner, and had a chat with her whenever he had the time.

During his career, he made it a necessity to find out secretaries’ names, receptionists’ names, gatekeepers’ names and personal assistants’ names. He used them whenever he could, so he became well known, not only to decision-makers, but also to their right-hand people. And he found business would often come his way, because he cared about the little things. He created an impression whenever he would call a company, as he would always call people by their names, and endeavour to remember them.

It’s a great lesson for us all, as we never know the impression it will make in the world we live in. It’s not just good manners but also a person’s name is the most personal thing they have. See if you can ask for and remember (make a written note, if you have to) people’s names when you meet them. You may be surprised by the impact it has in the short and the long term.

Happy Selling!

Sean McPheat

Managing Director
MTD Sales Training
http://www.mtdsalestraining.com

(Image courtesy of dollarphotoclub)

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How To Look REALLY Stupid In Front Of A Customer

My team and I often discuss the skills of top salespeople and how we admire their abilities to turn difficult situations around.

We’re always seeking best-practice ideas that helps customers to improve their results, or increase their profits.

The increasing pressure that top salespeople are under to achieve results makes it even more commendable that they are able to get such revered results.

Talk often turns to those situations that could constitute the direct opposite, that is, those customers who feel they are really good but either try too hard or don’t have the business or intellectual acumen to achieve big success.

They barely scrape by and can bring the reputation of the career crashing down.

These people sometimes make themselves look really stupid in front of customers, and I list below some things that you must avoid, or you’ll run the risk of looking a total prized idiot yourself:

Bluffing or faking an answer to a question the customer asks

If you’re not found out immediately, it will probably come back to bite you later. Too many good product presentations have been veered off course by the salesperson trying to cover over some lack of knowledge and making up figures of exaggerating claims. If the customer’s research then shows you up, you will look smaller than Mr Tiny from Small Street, Tinyville.

Instead say that you’ll find the answer and get back to the customer immediately you find it. And do so! 

Saying ’You’ll have to speak to someone else about that’

As in, ‘That’s a question for our technical team, you’ll need to speak to them, I’m just in sales.’

It’s much better to take the initiative, call the technical department yourself and be the conduit between them and the customer. Even though it may be a question you can’t answer, still take the responsibility to help them find the answer, rather than throwing the responsibility over to the customer.

Disagreeing with a customer viewpoint in a defensive way

This can sound like a pantomime act, as you purport your products to be this, the customer says something opposite and then you say ‘O, yes it is!’. It’s crass and just gets their back up, so resist the temptation and just ask the customer why they feel the way the way they do. That way, you get a clear understanding, rather than a muffled viewpoint that may make you look foolish for disagreeing.

Demonstrating the product doing things that bear no relationship to the needs of the customer

I remember being presented with a double-glazing solution by a salesperson who gave me a canned, pre-planned, 20-minute monologue of his product before I had even told him that the solution wouldn’t be of any use to me. If he’s asked two or three sensible questions, he would have saved him and me the time and would have presented something entirely different.

Do not try presenting before you have diagnosed what the customer’s concerns are.

Not checking your technology works!

Yes, incidents and accidents happen, but if your projector has a blown lamp, or your battery runs out on your laptop (and your charger is at the office), then you just look unprepared and unprofessional.

At least give your prospect the respect to check everything you’re going to use beforehand. You would be amazed how many times we’ve been presented to by salespeople and something has gone wrong (including the dreaded bluescreen when the salesperson turned his computer on… and his reaction was ‘O no, this always happens!).

You can’t avoid it if things go wrong, but if a simple check or better preparation would have prevented it, then you just look dumb.

Let me know if you have looked stupid in front of a prospect, and we’ll log them for a future blog.

Happy Selling!

Sean McPheat

Managing Director
MTD Sales Training
http://www.mtdsalestraining.com

(Image courtesy of dollarphotoclub)

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5 Keys To Becoming Your Customer’s Trusted Partner

If you’re in any kind of sales position, you really want to make buying and using your products easy and profitable.

That’s the real reason why people buy them in the first place; to make their lives or their businesses run smoother.

Unless you’re selling transactional, one-off items that will never be repeat buys, you want to build up some kind of loyalty from your customers.

And the optimum position to get into is where the customer treats you like a partner, trusting you to supply products and services that create consistent and promised results.

In fact, becoming your customer’s trusted partner should be your long-term objective in all your dealings.

So, what are the keys to building these relationships so that your connections with customers turns them into clients, advocates and raving fans?

Here are some ideas.

You really must understand, appreciate and have a deep knowledge of the following:

1. The customer’s ultimate goals, objectives and priorities

If you have an awareness of these, you create opportunities for yourself to present in ways that meet these prime concerns and help you achieve better inroads into their inner sanctum

2. The customer company culture and values

Very few salespeople get this far, but if you’re able to determine them it gives you a massive headstart. What’s their integrity like? Does everyone keep their promises? Will they pay good money for good quality or is saving money their prime motivator? Understanding this will help you in the long-term partnership. 

3. The customer’s decision-making process

Do all small decisions have to go through the procurement manager, or do the buyers have authority and autonomy to choose themselves? How high in the organisation do decisions have to go before they are signed off? You need to identify everyone in the process, so you have an idea of what should be done to gain approval for decisions.

4. The customer’s clients and their competitors

If you can make your customer look good in the eyes of their customers, you increase their market share and offer chances of increased profitability. Also, if you know more about their competitors than they do, you put yourself in prime position to be an advisor and expert in your field.

5. The customer’s market opportunities

By showing them how your products and services will enable the customer to be stronger in their market place and possibly open up new markets for them, you create opportunities with you that wouldn’t exist without you.

Each of these key points show your customer that you are interested in their success stories and gives them reasons to build trust in you, as they realise you are not there just to sell your stuff, but also to maintain the relationship in the long-term.

Happy Selling!

Sean McPheat

Managing Director
MTD Sales Training
http://www.mtdsalestraining.com

(Image courtesy of dollarphotoclub)

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How To Present Solutions That Make The Prospect Think Differently

When salespeople present their solutions to prospects, they seldom see the whole picture.

What I mean by this is that many salespeople see their product or service and present it from their own perspective. That is, they determine what are the features and benefits the product will bring the prospect or their business and talk about them.

A few salespeople will see the benefits through the prospect’s eyes and then show them the value of those benefits, and this is very close to the mark.

However, there is a proven way to present solutions that links straight back to the way the human brain is influenced and persuaded, and it’s quite intriguing.

Steve Martin, author of the book ‘The Small Big’, highlights a phenomenon that influences more than most people realise. He talks of a scenario where you might find a £20 note on the floor. After being sad for the moment when you think of the person’s loss (yeah, right!), you would then be happy for your own luck and pocket the note.

Imagine then, Martin asserts, that you lost the £20 yourself. How would you feel?

Are you economically worse off? No, but psychologically you would feel you have lost out, and that would disappoint and affect you more than if you hadn’t found the note in the fits place.

This is specifically because people are more ‘loss-averse’ in that they would do more to avoid loss than to achieve gain. It’s like the old question, ‘would you do more to try to earn a million dollars, or to protect the million dollars you have got?!’

Most salespeople try to persuade or convince the prospect of how much gain they will get from their solution. Think about that for a moment. If you never had something, and you don’t believe that the benefits of having it would outweigh the risks you have to go through to get it, how much effort would you put in to get it? Probably not much.

Martin argues when trying to persuade prospects to change buying habits or switch suppliers, they immediately think of the challenges this would bring – the unfamiliarity of the new choice, or the loss of comfort with something they already know. These costs are more than many prospects would like to incur.

Instead, a good starting point would be to look from a different perspective. People’s mental exchange rate between losses and gains is more two for one than one for one, and this means it’s more powerful to discuss what potential losses may be incurred if the choice isn’t made, rather than highlight the benefits if it is.

It may sound something like this: ‘So, Mr Prospect, we’ve discussed how this new product will reduce your overall costs by 8% in the first year, rising to between 10 and 15% in year two. This means you will save between £500 and £600 in just two years, the machine paying for itself in that time. If you didn’t go with it, you would effectively be losing that income.

So the sooner you make the choice, the sooner you will save that money.’

In this non-pressurised, non-patronising way, you convince the prospect that they are currently losing out on saving money and this could be stopped if they make the decision to choose your solution.

Try it out next time you need to present a solution, and see if the prospect is more ‘loss-averse’ than ‘gain-interested’!

Happy Selling!

Sean McPheat

Managing Director
MTD Sales Training
http://www.mtdsalestraining.com

(Image courtesy of dollarphotoclub)

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Use These DVP’s To Blow Your Prospect Away

When salespeople approach new or existing clients, there is always a form of anticipation, as they wonder how their ideas, products, services and offerings will be accepted by the potential buyer.

On occasions, we see them very well-prepared, identifying goals and objectives before making the call, eyeing up opportunities that might present themselves. At other times, it seems like there’s little preparation, with their confidence bourn on the memory of the product presentations they have given a thousand times.

Having spent time on many sales calls, it has occurred to me there are three components that make up the excellent presentation, and it boils down to being different in some way from the masses of other salespeople who may be touting competitive products.

It’s too simplistic, of course, to suggest that total success comes from just three components, but if you get these right, they offer a much better chance of getting good results.

I call them the DVP’s.

The initials stand for your Differentiating Value Proposition.

Firstly, what does differentiating mean? Well, words that come to mind include Distinguishing, Separating, Setting apart, Becoming Specialised.

This gives the image of being standing out from the crowd, making an impression because of being different. We’ve often said that you don’t always have to be better; but you do have to be different.

Being different means that you’re noticed. Too many pitches blend together in a quagmire of mediocrity, so the one that stands out is the one that stands out.

Our brains have something called a reticular activating system, and it comes alive when it notices something different from the norm. If your presentation is simply a regurgitation of the same-old-same-old, features and benefits, then it simply won’t grab the attention and build desire.

Try differentiating yourself through the way you approach the client, how you present solutions, how your solution will make the customer’s business better, more streamlined, more profitable. If you’re able to stand out, you give yourself a better chance of making an impression.

Next is Value. Of course, this means different things to different people, but the usual meanings include things like giving a Satisfactory Return on Investment, The worth, importance or usefulness to someone, or the perception of something’s worth based on interpretation

Value is personal, so try not to generalise how valuable your products might be. Discuss results you have achieved for others, but don’t over-exaggerate the possible results, as this will fall flat if the prospect doesn’t see those results as valuable to them.

Finally, we need to think about the Proposition. This is an idea for consideration, or an agreement based on opinion or judgement.

It must be personalised and specific for the client and their business. A jaded looking document or one that just “bigs-up” your company won’t cut the mustard. It has to be concentrating on the results the client’s business will get. Without that specificity and close attention to personal detail, it will appear to be just another proposal to be added to the pile.

Think seriously how you can differentiate your offerings, so that when you propose the value they will receive, it will make you stand out from the average crowd.

Happy Selling!

Sean McPheat

Managing Director
MTD Sales Training
http://www.mtdsalestraining.com

(Image courtesy of dollarphotoclub)

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6 Buyer Tactics That Will Slash Your Margins

We often talk about the selling skills required to deal with today’s complex and competitive market place.

Those skills normally revolve around the abilities of salespeople to achieve specific sales objectives and deal with objections or negotiate a better deal.

However, we seldom look from the perspective of the training that buyers receive and the tactics that they may use to get what they want,  specific sales objectives and deal with objections or negotiate a better deal.

However, we seldom look from the perspective of the training that buyers receive and the tactics that they may use to get what they want.

Yes, buyers are being taught just like you how to get better deals and what to do to increase their margins.

So, let’s discuss some of the ideas out there that buyers try out with you.

Even though they might want to do business with you, this doesn’t stop them wanting the best deal.

When you identify some of the tactics they may use, you can look out for them and ensure you get a win/win outcome.

Here are some of the tactics buyers may use:

Buyers Prepare Too!

Yes, strange as it may seem, buyers actually prime and organise themselves for the sales process.

This may mean they know which techniques you’re going to use and may match them. They may be trained in negotiation skills as they are buying every day.

Their experience may throw you off centre when you are trying to close. So don’t underestimate the power of a negotiating buyer!

They Never Let You Know If You’re Winning Or Losing

This is so they can put pressure on you to discount or to improve your terms and conditions.

Even if they want your product like a thirsty man needs water, they may still hold out for that better price, or free delivery or better payment terms.

They also don’t want you to walk away from the proceedings, so they can keep your competitive quote high on their list of bargaining tools with others. This brings us onto:

They Want A Number Of Supplier Quotes

The goal here is to keep as many competitive offers on the table as is practical, so they can ensure they have the best deal for themselves. Many buyers will get at least three competitors bargaining against each other, just to ensure they are achieving the best terms.

They Negotiate In Reverse Order

Some buyers are taught the tactic of negotiating with the least-favoured supplier first. Let’s say the company Is buyer new photocopiers. They’ll go to the supplier in last position and talk about a deal. Then they’ll take these figures to the next supplier and negotiate on those terms. They’ll continue to do this until they get to their favoured supplier. By this time they have the power to knock this supplier down to the lowest price or the most favoured terms to the buyer, and because they have written quotes, the favoured supplier feels under pressure to match or beat the terms.

They Will Take The Deal Away From You

This s a classic technique that puts undue pressure on the supplier. It goes something like “I know we’ve been dealing with you for some time, but budget cuts mean I have to go with a cheaper supplier. Sorry!” Because you have invested so much in the client up to this point, you try to find out what the budget is and match that because you don’t want to lose the business. Suddenly, you’re back in the game again, and the buyer has got what he wants (your products and services) at a better price.

The Buyer Knows Your Time Constraints

The best buyers know the deadlines you are working to. If you’re running a campaign, they know you need to close at the end of the week or month or quarter. They know if they can hold out until the deadline approaches, they have a greater bargaining power. Remember, if you’re above your target, you have the power to walk away from this deal, but if the buyer has this knowledge then they have the power to achieve a better deal from you.

Not all buyers, of course, will use techniques like these to make your job harder than it already is.

Just be aware that many have been trained to do so.

Be aware of what is going on and you won’t find yourself making deals that you may regret later on!

Happy Selling!

Sean McPheat

Managing Director
MTD Sales Training
http://www.mtdsalestraining.com

(Image courtesy of dollarphotoclub)

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The 6 Main Components That Create Sales Excellence

Excellence is a word that is bandied about so much these days that it can often lose its meaning or its differentiation.

The dictionary defines it as ‘being exceptional, being superior in some way, achieving extreme merit, preeminence or distinction’.

When we use the term, we commonly confuse it with something that is just better or an improvement of some sort.

However, for something or someone to be given the accolade of ‘excellence’, we have to be more than just better; we need to identify the qualities that deserve the term, or we are in danger of diminishing the stand-out qualities that are required to receive the honour.

To achieve excellence in sales, we need to lay the foundations that support and enable the results we need to achieve.

Here, we discuss just six key components that create excellence in salespeople and make them stand out from the crowd.

The first three are classed as intrapersonal skills (internally-focussed) and the others are interpersonal (externally-focussed). Each one will assist in the development of quality and stature.

Develop A Full Range Of Skills & Attributes

The top salespeople we have encountered take their own personal development very seriously. They create and implement a development plan for themselves that include seeking out training and coaching opportunities, reading, listening to and watching subject matter experts, update their product knowledge, develop their industry knowledge and plan their career progression in such a way that it enhances opportunities at every step.

Also, they see how new technologies their own company and competitors are producing add value to the industry, learning how these advancements affect and add value from their customers’ perspectives.

Accept Change As The Norm & Embrace It For Progressing Salesmanship

Great value-creators recognise that they must build a clear and flexible path through the changes their customers and industry must go through. They understand that their products and services must be instrumental in driving those changes. This requires the mindset to be adaptable to whatever circumstances the customer may throw at them.

Become Future-Focussed

The high-quality salesperson will recognise the lessons that past teaches, grab hold of the opportunities the present offers and develop the foresight to apply those learnings to the future. In other words, they see the only thing they really have control over are those future opportunities.

By recognising the future is a blank slate ready to be written upon, the great salesperson doesn’t harbour resentment over what has occurred, but treats it as a school to learn how to build resilience and elasticity in their future plans.

Understand The Customer’s Business As Well As The Customer Does

Yes, it takes time, diligence, effort and guile, but it differentiates the haves from the have-nots in terms of knowledge and partnership abilities. Treating your customer’s business like your own means you build trust, and with that comes the openness and exposure that allows you access to the inner sanctum. By having the attitude of curiosity, great salespeople build reasons for customers to develop close business relationships with them, hence reducing the emphasis on price that might let in competitive offerings.

Be Passionate About Service & Business Results

Passion is a chosen response when you feel enthusiastic and engaged with a project or task. Great salespeople choose this emotion wisely and use it to drive their actions and responses.

Having a passion for something engages you like nothing else does. Without it, you lack the inspiration or drive to concentrate on excellence or quality responses. Having passion separates you from the masses who allow the ‘that’ll-do’ attitude to affect their diligence. Having passion for business results helps you build value in the customer’s eyes as they recognise the impact your intensity and desire for improvement has on their business

Build Relationships Throughout The Customer’s Business

High-quality salespeople recognise the value of building many strong relationships throughout their accounts. This allows them to build business acumen and confidence when dealing with various people at differing levels. They see the value of discussing financials with the accounts team, talking strategies with the sales management team and highlighting technological advancements with the product-development team.

This allows a clear understanding of the shared needs and unique concerns of each component that makes up the customer’s decision-making teams, and allows trust to be engendered throughout the purchase experience.

Each of these components need to synergise together to create an overall impression of professionalism so that the salesperson is seen as a major asset to the customer’s business rather than just another supplier who blends in with the competition.

It takes time to determine which of these components are best developed and utilised with every account; but they offer a differential that will set you apart in many customer’s eyes as someone who is indispensable to their future journey.

Happy Selling!

Sean McPheat

Managing Director
MTD Sales Training
http://www.mtdsalestraining.com

(Image courtesy of dollarphotoclub)

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