What they do care about is growing their business and solving their problems. However, too often, salespeople barge into a company president's office, proclaiming how great their product or service is without learning anything about the prospective customer.
If this sounds like your sales force, they need to be retrained, says Marc Miller, president of Twinsburg-based Sogistics Corp., a sales and marketing training service.
"What salespeople want to do is jump in very, very early with solutions and be aggressive with closing," Miller says. "That is the worse thing you can do. That will cause the market to push you away because no one wants to deal with Rambo."
Miller says a more effective closing method is the consultative approach. Find out about prospective customers' needs and what their problems are, and don't talk about your solutions until much later.
"Salespeople are often very linear," Miller says. "The problem with that is it makes no sense from a buyer's perspective."
Shorten the cycle
If you're selling large-ticket items like health care services or technology solutions, the better approach is to extend the amount of time in the beginning of the sales cycle, Miller says.
"If you spend more time early on building consensus and building the value of the new application, then what will happen is that back end will shorten up dramatically and ultimately reduce your selling cycle time," Miller says.
"It's going to take more than one or two calls."
Know the buyer
Your salespeople should never arrange a sales call without know exactly where the prospect stands in the buying decision. Some prospects are actively looking for your product or service, some may be looking for something different, and others aren't even thinking about it.
"If they're not actively shopping, you need a salesperson who can show the value of the application first and not do some dog and pony show," Miller says.
"And it's not just about asking open-ended questions, but questions that get at objectives of companies that get at dissatisfaction areas of companies, and understand how to grow that dissatisfaction." How to reach: Sogistics Corp., (330) 487-0300 or www.sogistics.com.