As entrepreneurs, we are constantly selling and being sold to. Do you ever notice that anyone involved in sales is not called a “salesman”? They’re called account executives, business development, relationship managers, etc. The main reason for this title change is that sales has garnered a poor reputation over the years. Just the title “salesman” will turn many people off. The titles have changed, but unfortunately some people still follow an outdated, traditional sales method.
I recently had coffee with a sales rep I met at a networking event. He represented a telecommunications company and we had a good discussion about approaching small business owners. We then began discussing my business challenges pertaining to email, phone and Internet. I vented my problems and he listened. At the end of the conversation, he told me that he would be sending me some recommendations based on our conversation, which I encouraged. As we were leaving though, he posed the question, “What can I do to receive a commitment from you this week?” I was taken aback by this question. We were having an honest, free-flowing conversation and next thing you know, I felt like I was being sold to!
There are still many salespeople that follow these traditional sales methods. They use the assumptive close or some other closing technique they were taught in a sales course. In B2B sales scenarios, these sales methods do not work. Customers want you to be a confidante, a resource, a trusted adviser. They don’t want to feel like they are being sold to. Customers want someone who they truly believe is trying to help solve their business challenges. Customers can tell if you’re trying to score a sale or if you want to be a long-term solution provider. As a salesperson with 15+ years experience, my top priority when meeting a prospective customer is to determine if Bop Design is a good fit and if we can help. If you enter each sales scenario with sincere intentions like this and no canned responses or sales tricks, you will succeed in building relationships with business owners.