In today’s world, where everything is only the push of a button away, it is important as a sales representative to keep that fact in mind. Many people are switching to online shopping as a way to quicker serve their business needs. Also, with issues surrounding identity theft and credit card fraud, most people find online ordering as a secure alternative to giving their payment information to a person with whom they’ve had limited interactions. As a salesman, your job is to ensure that the customer trusts you and values your business dealings with them; however the traditional sales model of “we are the best, this is why you should buy from us” is a fleeting thing of the past.

As a sales rep, in order to compete with the online convenience of one-click ordering, you must find a way to make yourself invaluable to your customers. This requires a complete change of mindset from the traditional badgering sales pitch to that of a sales consultant. The main difference is in the approach to the sales process.

Switch from “This is what we have! Buy it here!” to “What can our business offer you? We are here to help.”

Traditionally businesses have focused more on the breadth of products and services they can offer, rather than committing to assessing the needs of each client and asking what they can offer to them. Using the mentality of being bigger and better than the competitors, will not make you stand out from the crowd.

In the mindset of a consultant, however, you should go into the business transaction by first asking what the client needs, and being willing to help them assess those needs if they are unsure. Taking the time to really build a relationship with your clients even before a sale takes place is a critical piece of being successful. In the long run, it will also be more likely to garner you loyal returning customers. Making yourself appear personable and putting the client’s needs first, will make you seem more important and trustworthy than ordering online.

Understand the Culture of the Business That You’re Dealing With

If you don’t understand the overall culture of a business that you’re trying to sell to, then you may misstep or misinterpret the needs of that client. Make sure that you know exactly what kind of company you’re dealing with.

Get to know your clients and make sure to ask them about the vision of where they’re going. If you and your clients are on the same page then you are far more likely to become a part of their ongoing business needs as they grow.

Be Genuine

When dealing with clients, it all boils down to being genuine in your interactions. If you change your mindset from quickly to quality, you will be successful. Companies are more likely to buy your products and trust you when you have built the foundation for a genuine lasting relationship. Instead of trying to make a sale happen in the shortest timeframe possible, take a step back and really make sure that you have done everything you could do to make the client happy by helping them assess their business needs. Also make sure that you’ve addressed every possible question that they may have before you move forward in your transaction.

Barb Burns
Branch Manager

Barb Burns, branch manager of Midwest Office, has 35 years of experience in the sales industry. In her career she’s developed more than 250 customer relationships, which she has retained more than 50 percent of through sales methods.