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What Is The Difference Between A Sales Person And An Order Taker?

We have all heard the phrases; an order taker or a sales person. However, what does that mean and what is the difference between the two?

Take a look at this analogy…

The Eagle and the Vulture
The difference between a professional sales person and an order taker is similar to the difference between a vulture and an eagle. Whereas, a vulture, sits, perched and waits. Waits for a meal to develop and appear, usually by something that has died. It then meanders over and scavenges the rotting carcass, and barley survives in a state of half-starvation.

The eagle, on the other hand, does not sit and wait, but goes out, flies around and FINDS fresh food. It then swoops down and CREATES a bountiful meal and enjoys a life of opulence.

The Sales Professional and the Order Taker
Similarly, an order taker sits around and waits for someone to BUY something. The order taker waits for the incoming call. Waits for the web lead from the prospect that has a check-in-hand. The order taker waits for the buyer to say, “I’ll take it!” The order taker lives on a minimal wage, surviving in a state of half-living.

The professional sales person however, does not wait. The professional sales person goes out, flies around and FINDS opportunities. The professional sales person finds prospects who never even thought about buying anything. The sales pro then helps the prospect by uncovering problems and exposing needs and desire, and then diagnoses those problems, offers solutions and then solves those problems. Thus, the professional sales person lives a life of success and affording the joys of wealth.

Now I ask you…Which Are You?
Below are a few questions to ask you. Of course, depending on what you sell, some may not apply. However, be honest with yourself.

Order Take or Professional Sales Person?

1. What percentage of your sales come from prospects that come to YOU, verses how many are the result of outgoing prospecting efforts?

2. What percentage of your sales are from lead sources OTHER than your company’s TOP 2 normal lead sources? (In other words, how many leads are you finding out of the box?)

3. What percentage of sales volume is from add-on, up-sell, or otherwise production that is above the original lead value? (In other words, by what percentage are you able to increase the sale that the buyer already committed to spending?)

When the economy slows and a million other excuses overwhelm the order taker, the true professional sales person will always go out, reach out, call out to create and generate business.

Happy Selling!


Sean McPheat
MTD Sales Training

(Image by Master Isolated Images)

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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 3,500 different organisations and 100,000 staff. Our clients include Xerox, Friends Provident, Starbucks, Taylor Wimpey, CISCO, Allianz and Lloyds TSB to name but a few.

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