Traits of Top Salespeople

"Top salespeople are strategists: they always establish the next steps."

Day: September 1, 2022

Successful Salespeople Must Learn To Lead Or Follow In A Sales Situation

Successful Salespeople Must Learn To Lead Or Follow In A Sales Situation

When it comes to sales calls, there is no one-size-fits-all approach.

Some prospects want a salesperson who will confirm their existing thoughts and perceptions, while others are looking for someone who will challenge their assumptions and prescribe a new solution. The key is to be able to read the situation and adjust your approach accordingly.

If you sense that the prospect is resistant to new ideas, it may be best to focus on reaffirming their existing beliefs. However, if the prospect seems open to new possibilities, you’ll have an opportunity to introduce them to a solution they may not have known about. By being attuned to the prospect’s needs, you’ll be able to deliver a sales pitch that hits the mark.

What selling style do prospective buyers prefer? A survey by Harvard Business Review shows that 40% of study participants prefer a salesperson who listens, understands, and then matches their solution to solve a specific problem. Another 30% prefer a salesperson who earns their trust by making them feel comfortable because they will care for the customer’s long-term needs. Another 30% want a salesperson who challenges their thoughts and perceptions and then prescribes a solution they may not have known about.

A successful salesperson knows that the key to making a sale is understanding the prospect’s needs. The best way to do this is to ask questions and listen carefully to the answers. Only then can the salesperson begin to match their solution to the specific problem the prospect is facing.

This process begins with identifying the need, which can be done through active listening and probing questions. Next, the salesperson must determine whether their product or service is a good fit for the need. If it is, they can then begin to present their solution to demonstrate how it will solve the prospect’s problem. By genuinely taking the time to understand the prospect’s needs, a salesperson can increase their chances of making a successful sale.

In any sales situation, building trust with the prospect is essential. This can be done in several ways, but one of the most important is to make the prospect feel comfortable. When a prospect feels at ease, they are more likely to be open to what you have to say. They will also be more likely to remember the interaction positively, which can help to build long-term relationships.

There are a few simple ways to make prospects feel comfortable.

  • First, use open body language and make eye contact.
  • Second, avoid controversial topics and steer clear of anything that might make the prospect feel uncomfortable.
  • Finally, be genuine in your interactions and take an interest in what the prospect says.

Anyone who’s ever been on a sales call knows that the key to a successful pitch is making a personal connection with the potential customer. One way to do this is through open body language. This means keeping your arms uncrossed and your hands visible.

It also means maintaining eye contact throughout the conversation. This shows that you’re interested in what the other person has to say and that you’re trustworthy.

Additionally, open body language can help put the other person at ease, making them more likely to listen to what you have to say.

It’s essential to be respectful of your prospect’s time and to stay on topic during a sales call. You should avoid anything that might make the prospect feel uncomfortable, or that could potentially be controversial. Stick to discussing the product or service you’re selling and trying to gauge the prospect’s level of interest.

Know when to lead the prospect

Some prospects want a salesperson who challenges their thoughts and perceptions during a sales call. They want someone who will listen to their needs and prescribes a solution they may not have known about. This type of challenge can help make a sale, but it can also be daunting for the salesperson. It requires them to understand the prospect’s needs and come up with a solution that meets them. Additionally, the salesperson must communicate the solution’s value effectively to the prospect. This can be a challenge, but it can be overcome with practice and understanding of the sales process.

The above-mentioned HBR article noted that under 20% of accounting and IT staffers want to be challenged from a departmental perspective, while 43% of the engineering department does. Over 50% of marketing and IT prefer a salesperson who will listen and match a solution to solve their specific needs. The sales department preferred having a salesperson listen and translate their needs and being challenged; HR was equally split across all three selling styles.

An interesting explanation for selling style preferences is based on whether the buyer is comfortable with conflict. 78% of participants who preferred a salesperson who would listen and solve their specific needs agreed with the statement: “I try to avoid conflict as much as I can.” Conversely, 64% of participants who preferred a salesperson who challenged their thoughts disagreed with the statement and were comfortable with conflict.

To be successful in sales, it’s crucial to be able to read your prospect and adjust your approach accordingly. Some prospects want a salesperson who will confirm their existing thoughts and perceptions, while others are looking for someone who will challenge their assumptions and prescribe a new solution. The key is to be able to read the situation and adjust your approach accordingly. When you can lead and compliment when appropriate, you’ll be well on your way to sealing the deal.

Header photo by Sora Shimazaki: https://www.pexels.com/photo/cheerful-multiethnic-colleagues-having-deal-in-office-5673487/