Where are your sales reps positioned in the eyes of your customers? Are your reps still only seen as order takers to their buyers, with little respect to their suggestions or opinions? Join me as I share the four levels of sales positioning and how your team can work to earn their customer’s respect as “Trusted Advisors.” Because they can always sell more!
What are you doing to help your sales reps gain more respect and also do a better job of selling more to your customers? Hi, I'm Jim Pancero, helping you become a stronger leader of your sales team. And the reality today is there are four levels of selling that a customer can perceive your sales people to be fulfilling. Not all of them are very effective. The bottom level, the bottom feeders of our industry are the sales reps that are really only positioning themselves as order takers and problem solvers. The reality is customers are doing business with them, frankly, out of convenience. It's not worth the time to find another vendor, but they also don't have a lot of respect for this vendor. So they'll call up and order stuff from them. They'll give them problems to solve that they're dealing with and have them solve it, but they don't have the respect of building a partnership.
They're not going to be a trusted advisor because it is [inaudible 00:00:49] is reactive. If I call you up, I can give you an order or if I call you up, you'll solve my problem. But that's about it. The second level up is our sales people mature and become more effective is that at least the customers see them as special presenters. These are people that come around and usually can position themselves that because of me, I'm helping save you money. And the only way they're doing that though, is they're constantly bringing specials and discount and special offers for the month to be able to present that to the customers of how they can save money. Now, it helps and benefits the customer, but it's not going to be a solid long term relationship. They're just taking advantage of the savings. The third level is when we start to get really productive as a salesperson, and that's when we position ourselves as a business growth specialist. We're going to bring solutions.
We're going to evaluate their problems and show them how we can solve them by bringing them better services or products to solve the issues and challenges they're dealing with. But the ultimate relationship, the ultimate relationship is when your sales reps are positioned as trusted advisors. The best definition I have for a trusted advisor is the customer has such strong relationship with a sales rep, they'll ask that sales rep for opinions of stuff the sales rep doesn't even sell because they still respect their opinion and knowledge of their industry and of their markets. So where are your salespeople and how are they perceived by your customers? And most important, what are you doing is the manager of these people to help raise their level and to raise their effectiveness? Notice that the bottom level, the order takers and the problem solvers are 100% reactive in their service and support.
If I call Dell Computers, they're going to help me, but I don't really think I have a relationship with them because every time I call, I get somebody new. They solve my problems with my laptop when I have problems or issues I'm dealing with, but it's not a relationship. It's just service. At the very top level where it's a trusted advisor, where I count on these people to help me improve my business and improve my profitability. What are you doing to help your salespeople? Because you'll notice the bottom level is completely reactive and the top trusted advisor tends to be a much more proactive position. What can you help your people to become more initiators and responders, more proactive than reactive? It's one of the ways to work and to earn yourself as a trusted advisor.
I would love to know how you're helping your people advance to a higher level, would love to answer any of your questions about how they can achieve that. Thanks for checking out my podcast. I'm posting two new podcasts each week, all aimed at helping you and your team increase your selling competitive advantage.