It isn’t necessary to tell salespeople they need to improve their performance. They’re scorekeepers; they know exactly how they’re doing. The endless stream of webinars, podcasts, seminars, books and articles suggests they want to do better.
Even with so many opportunities, it’s easy for salespeople to get stuck in patterns that keep them from becoming more effective performers. To help salespeople see themselves more clearly, here are four approaches to sales:
1. Tactical selling
This occurs when a salesperson tends to follow a script that puts the emphasis on a product’s features and functions rather than focusing on understanding customer needs. Unfortunately, these salespeople put a lid on their success and have difficulty moving beyond what can be called mid-tier relationships.
2. Transactional selling
Then there are those in sales who give customers what they want. These are the commodity buyers and there are more of them all the time. “All I want is enough life insurance to cover my mortgage for the next 18 years. What’s the cheapest price you can get for me?” The message is clear: “This is what I’m going to buy. If you can’t give it to me, I’m going elsewhere.” So much for further discussion or a needs analysis. The customer is in control and the salesperson is an order taker.
3. Relationship selling
Buying from people we trust makes sense, which is why salespeople often say they control an account because they have the relationship with the customer. Maintaining the personal relationship is what counts, and anything that might interfere with or injure it is a red flag threat. More attention is placed on keeping the relationship than on providing solutions based on client needs.