Moving away from the traditional Salesperson


Written by Antonio Igarza for Buljan & Partners Consulting

The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails“. William George Ward

We all know what the word “Salesperson” means: Employees of a big or small company, who offer different products or services, with different solutions or results, with more or less success.

Nowadays, this kind of occupation seems to be more difficult than ever, especially when the only thing you see and hear it the news is the word “crisis”. In this kind of situation, what the companies really need is a major change of base: a new type of sales method, based on a different commitment.

The Sales department should be more involved, with control and support throughout the organization. But it must be the entire organization who is responsible for providing the right tools and the right and agreed objectives defined, and all people involved should be fighting on the same side.

The key word now is “Adaptation“: What they need is a professional salesperson, a business consultant.

The difference between the 2 labels (professional salesperson and business consultant) is small, and comprises of the following characteristics:

A really professional salesperson is that person who is employed to sell merchandise, services, etc. in a store or in a designated territory. His/her main objective is a full-time permanent employment in sales, in a dynamic environment where he/she can directly influence customer satisfaction outcomes.

The way they handle their daily work depends highly on using the professional probing and questioning skills, so they can learn the customer’s needs dreams and goals. The right questions will determine the benefits that will be considered as value added by the customer. This way of work is very much like a customer consultant, or a business consultant.

Here we have some additional desired salesperson’s features:

  • A happy person transmits his/her passion in a better way. It does not mean you have to be a clown.
  • A person with a high self-esteem works more efficiently.
  • A strong person, with energy, has the power to transmit his “way of life” to his/her customers, and the customer feels it.
  • A professional salesperson, with the right knowledge about his sector, products and customers, works with more confidence. This also means that personal “recycled” knowledge is very important.
  • A “slow person” will never succeed.
  • Any employee, who talks bad stuff about his/her partners, will soon get what he/she deserves.
  • A professional who works with the tools that already exist, and tries to improve through those, will finally end up with the tools that really fit.
  • A person, who never shows real commitment to his job and targets, never has a clear objective.
  • A professional without personal Kaizen*, can´t never experience improvement.
  • Being a “realistic” professional means being aware of the general situation.
  • “Realistic” does not mean pessimist.
  • A salesperson that can provide forecasts by product and customer based on business experience is more professional.
  • A salesperson that always fights for his/her objectives will be granted with better goals.
  • A salesperson who never listens to his/her customers, will never give the right solutions.
  • A salesperson who never listens to his/her superiors, will never achieve the goals.
  • A salesperson who never listens to himself, will never achieve the goal of finding a right balance between satisfying the customers and his/her superiors.
  • An entrepreneur, who offers “Value Added Solutions” that best answers the customer requirements, will be more successful.

*Kaizen, Japanese for “improvement”, or “change for the better” refers to philosophy or practices that focus upon continuous improvement of processes in manufacturing, engineering and business management. When used in the business sense and applied to the workplace, kaizen refers to activities that continually improve all functions, and involves all employees from the CEO to the assembly line workers.

All of the above will help distinguish one salesperson from another and therefore one company from another.

Please keep in mind: “Hello! I am your customer. Do you see the world like I do? It’s simple really. Start with me, and everything else follows … Together we can do extraordinary things …” (Extract from the book Customer Genius by Peter Fisk)

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