I am proud to be a professional sales person.
Most people have the impression that working with a sales person is a negative experience. We have all had an experience where we feel covered in slime by someone trying to sell us something irrespective of what we want or need.
Professional sales people never do that. The challenge is finding the professional sales people to work with when you want something.
The job of a professional sales person is to quickly find out what you need and then to determine if it matches what he or she has to sell. If there are multiple items that fit your needs but they have other factors that might not be suitable for you, that sales person is there to guide you through the choices.
It is an absolute pleasure to work with a sales person who understands their products, even other products on the market, and is willing to help you make the proper decision even if that means you don't buy their product. Really good sales people know that if they help you, you might come back to them the next time for advice or you might at least recommend them to someone who needs their product or services.
Obviously there is a whole other world of sales people out there. That would be the ones who probably don't even know how to use the product they're selling and are determined to sell you something even if it does not match your needs. These folks are like telemarketers who won't get off the phone with you.
Lots of folks depend on their friends for purchase advice and that can work really well if you know some experts with years of experience, but a good sales person can be just as reliable.
So how do you tell a good sales person?
- They ask questions about what you want to do with the product you're considering purchasing.
- Their interest is more in solving your problem than their particular product.
- They don't start out by bashing the competition or reciting a memorized spiel.
- You get the feeling that they are listening to you more than they are talking.
- There is no immediate negative feedback if they don't have what you want or if you aren't ready to buy on the spot.
- You can tell they really understand what they are talking about when they answer a question.
- They don't start with pressure towards a product which is more money than you want to spend.
- You don't hear, "Well what would it take for you to make a decision today?"
- They offer some helpful tips in differentiating other products.
- They look you in the eye when talking to you.
A good sales person is a product consultant who has valuable information that can help you make the right purchase easier than if you tried to do it on your own. Sales people who work for companies who value feedback often will take issues forwards and sometimes products get modified for the better.
In a complex sale, a professional sales person will often be able to find a way for you and their company to both achieve your goals and create a win-win situation.
If you're an expert in a particular product you might not need a sales person especially if you fully understand the purchasing options and what services and support come with them.
People's needs are amazingly complex, and you have to be experienced and a good listener to really know what someone wants. Often you also have to spend significant time making certain that the product you have sold is properly supported or serviced. It makes all the difference in the world when it comes to repeat buyers.
It's a lot better for me as a sales person to tell you that I cannot provide you with what you really need than it is for me to sell you the wrong product.
We walk away friends and when you do find the right product often at my suggestion, you'll likely remember who set you on the correct path.
The companies that go out and assume they can hire folks who ask trick questions to get someone to commit to a purchase are dinosaurs. More and more people are becoming educated purchasers and are willing to ask questions before they buy.
So no matter what you are selling make sure you listen to what the purchaser is saying and try your best to make certain they get what they need not just what you want to sell them.
If you are interested in more of my ideas on sales, you might try my Sales Team Help Website. If you are interested in basic sales, there is a presentation there for new companies and if you are interested in high tech sales there are links to some very good articles though most are a few years old.