Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Be A Consultant Not A Salesman

Be A Consultant Not A Salesman

When I first started the sales profession, my sales manager gave me some sound advice: Think of yourself as a consultant, not a salesman. Every sales professional has a duty to be a problem solver to their client. This is a long term tactic to developing a strong business relationship. Sure, it may not yield incredible gains up front, but you're in this for the long haul, right?


What image comes to mind when I say "used car salesman"?


For some reason, I always think of some fat, greasy haired guy with a toothpick in his mouth, telling me that the 1991 Ford Escort sitting on his lot with bondo finish and one flat tire, is one of the finest cars he's ever had, and that he really hates to part with it.


A sales professional should be seen as a trusted adviser not some swindler looking to pick your pockets.
People who are short sighted, go for the quick sales. They make recommendations that are intended to fill their bank accounts, not their client's bottom line. I've been faced many times in my sales career with the tough choice of delayed gratification- putting off the short term fruits of a big order when I knew it might not be the best solution at that time for the prospect.
In order to be seen as a consultant, you have to think like a business owner.


Business owners are usually interested in three things:


1. Increasing Revenues

2. Decreasing Expenses

3. Increasing Efficiency (this will inevitably help the first two)


Your job is to help them with these goals- using integrity. Nothing turns a client off more than overinflated claims. BE SINCERE in your help.


BE SPECIFIC in your help. How are you going to help them decrease their expenses over the next year?
Here are some ways you help them with each of the three:


Increasing Revenue.


• Increasing the size of their orders

• Increasing the value of each sale

• Helping them get repeat orders from their current customer base

• Improving their sales process


Decreasing Expenses.


• Helping them save production time by automation

• Helping them speed up production

• Helping them to eliminate waste in their process

• Find more affordable ways to get things done


Increasing Efficiency.


• Outsourcing certain areas that waste time and money

• Improving Quality so that they save time in correcting mistakes

• Hiring better skilled workers


All of these are examples of how you should be approaching your prospects. Think of yourself as if you were in their shoes trying to run a company. Find out what keeps them up a night thinking, and you'll earn not only their trust, but those big commission returns over a lifetime.



Jonathan Taylor is president of Surefire Sales & Marketing in Knoxville, TN. You can read his daily sales strategies at http://www.JonathanTaylorblog.com