Are Your Salespeople a Competitive Advantage or Disadvantage?


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Are Your Salespeople a Competitive Advantage or Disadvantage?

It’s no secret that the Internet has affected the sales profession. Buyers are more educated and more comfortable buying large-ticket items, both products and services, through the Internet. Amazon is one of the leading retailers in the world and does a lot of things right. It has product availability, makes it easy to order and return merchandise, AND you don’t have to deal with salesperson. Yup, the elimination of salespeople is one of its competitive advantages. 

How can that be? Well, how many of you have ever experienced this selling scenario? 

  • You walk into a retail store and you are a qualified prospect. You look around, trying to find a sales associate. When you do find an associate, you have to interrupt her because she is busy checking her latest text on her addict-a-phone. Or she’s chatting it up with a co-worker, completely oblivious to you and your needs.   
  • You meet with a salesperson and are open with your goals and challenges. The salesperson listens intently and makes some preliminary recommendations — none of which match what was discussed. “Mr. Prospect, I believe we can help you. We are a 150-year-old company and are the largest in our industry.”  (And how does that help me solve my problem?) “We are national and international.”  (So, why do I care?) 


So what can you do to make your salespeople a competitive advantage?

  1. Hire salespeople that like sales. Most people get into the sales profession by default, i.e., “I’ll do this until I find a real job.” Salespeople that excel in the profession of sales regard it as a profession, not just a temporary stop-gap measure.     
  2. Hire salespeople that possess the emotional intelligence skill of self-actualization. These individuals are on a constant journey of professional and personal improvement.  You don’t have to force them to learn about their products, their customers, how to better influence people or sell. Self-actualized salespeople are professional sponges.  And because they are on top of industry trends and best practices, and have great influence skills, they add value to a conversation.  Clients leave meetings and say, “Now, that was a good meeting.  She really made me think.”
  3. Give your sales team training.  Most salespeople have only participated in product knowledge training.  Is it any wonder they move give presentations rather than thoughtful, customized options? 

Are your salespeople a competitive advantage or disadvantage?

SalesLeadership is now taking registrants for our May 17 – 18 Ei Selling® Boot Camp.

Call Julie at 303-708-1128 for more information.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Colleen Stanley
Colleen Stanley is president of SalesLeadership, Inc. a business development consulting firm specializing in sales and sales management training. The company provides programs in prospecting, referral strategies, consultative sales training, sales management training, emotional intelligence and hiring/selection. She is the author of two books, Emotional Intelligence For Sales Success, now published in six languages, and author of Growing Great Sales Teams.


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