Like I was saying, Purchasing Magazine
did a survey and asked the question, “Why do you buy from a sales rep?” The number one answer was covered in the previous blog entry. The number two answer is…Product knowledge
. That is, are you an expert on your own goods and services? According to the survey, buyers care that you know your stuff. This should not be a surprise to anyone. It makes complete sense, doesn’t it? In fact, it makes SO much sense that there really isn’t more to blog about on this one. So, I will move on to the third reason…Customer knowledge
. The third reason why buyers choose a particular sales rep is his or her knowledge of them. In other words, does the rep know our industry and its challenges and can he or she help us to drive revenue or solve a problem?
I put a great deal of stock in this one. With what Al Gore has given us, there is absolutely no excuse for not knowing a great deal about a client. Let me give you two scenarios and you tell me which one is the better sales call:
“Hi, my name is Bill and I sell printing. I was hoping to speak with the person who buys your printing. We have great prices and great service. I want to set up an appointment to come tell you more.”
“Hi, my name is Bill. I saw your Website that you are a member of the ABC trade association. I called them and they told me that one key issue for their members is the difficulty in targeting specific markets. If you share that issue, I can help and would like to come talk with you.”
There are many differences in these two calls, but the fact that the second one came after some fairly extensive Website research and preparation made for a far more valuable attempt.
The bottom line on this subject is that each of them is within your control to improve
. Buyers didn’t say “price” or “quality” or anything else. They said we buy from the best rep. So, improve your selling skills. They said we need to know our stuff. So, learn your industry. They said we need to know about them. So, learn theirs.
May the best, most expert, and customer-savvy rep win!Note: The next Sales Challenge happens on June 3 at noon ET. Go to www.TheSalesChallenge.com for more information.