Robert-photo-w-icon-150-4-7-10-FINAL4-150x150In this age of limited time and unlimited access to information, many customers specify their preference of working with a salesperson whose expertise and insight help clarify their needs.

What 3 factors define a productive sales experience for these customers?

An effective sales discovery process will uncover a customer’s goals, but the way this process is experienced by the customer is the key to making it productive for both parties in the transaction. Sales people become trusted, reliable partners for their customers when they share knowledge early in the process and guide their customers to learn something new that will produce results and help them succeed.

These customers cite 3 factors that define a productive sales experience and earn the salesperson preference with them:

  1. They share valuable insight about market trends. Customers relay on the expertise of these sales people. They understand that their own exposure to new concepts or challenges evolving in the market may be limited, and they recognize that they can be overwhelmed with readily accessible, but unfocused, information from the web. They value the ability of a salesperson who knows their business, can describe trends and their probable effects. They appreciate the opportunity to find and concentrate on the appropriate information that will clarify their needs.
  1. They suggest alternative solutions and help the customer evaluate them. Working together to explore two to three proposed solutions encourages the customer to engage more openly in evaluating the pros and cons of each alternative. This helps identify what is most valuable for the customer and which option or combination of options is the one they tend to prefer. There is less risk for the customer in being able to discuss more than a single alternative, and it enables them to recognize the salesperson’s commitment to their success.
  1. They remain engaged throughout the selling process and beyond. Customers expect a salesperson to know their business, and to share new ideas and innovations that expand their knowledge. They demand accountability – promises must be kept and the salesperson must remain engaged in a project until the anticipated results are delivered.  True partnering sales people provide ongoing advice and consultation, leveraging their expertise to help their customers succeed over time, beyond a single project.

How consistently do your sales personnel demonstrate these characteristics?

What direction and motivation drives this behavior in your organization?