Why Do People Buy from You?
Ever wonder? You’d like to think it’s your service, but it’s not. Perhaps you believe it’s your great prices. Nope. Delivery times? Uh-uh. According to a Purchasing Magazine poll, the number one reason why someone buys from a particular salesperson is his or her raw sales ability. That is: How developed are your professional sales skills?
In the end, price, service and delivery are important, but our clients are looking for someone who solves problems, communicates effectively, shows up on time and partners with them to provide solutions. Who knew?
When it comes to Purchasing Magazine, I ordinarily only pick up the swimsuit edition, but this information fascinates me. One of my favorite questions to ask an audience of salespeople and selling owners is, “Why aren’t you selling more?” The answers range from “No one returns my calls” to “My prices are too high” to “I don’t have enough time to prospect.”
Never—not once—in the hundreds of times that I have asked that question has anyone given the real reason: “I guess I’m not a good enough sales rep.” If a salesperson were to be hypnotized and injected with truth serum, I wonder if even then he/she would cough up that answer. It’s kind of like asking a divorcee what happened to the marriage and hearing all kinds of answers—“He’s a jerk” “She was mean” “I was drunk”—but not the truth: “I did not understand or meet my partner’s needs.”
See, the funny thing is, much of what happens in a selling situation is completely out of the control of the sales rep—the economy, the client’s desire to slash costs, voice mail, etc. But the single most important factor in turning someone’s head our way is a skill. A skill that is completely within our control to improve.
Bill Farquharson is a partner at Idealliance. As a print-specific sales trainer, Farquharson applies a fundamentally-sound approach to his coaching, online programs (found at sales.epicomm.org), and live presentations. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or (781) 934-7036 to discuss your sales challenges.