Reading an exchange on Twitter this morning reminded me of one of the important lessons we pass on when we are coaching people on sales skills.
One of our local MP’s was tweeting about the proposed boundary changes, when they received this reply from one of the local councillors in their area:
“And your immediate anti-reaction indicates your #1 concern is your job rather than electoral fairness for your constituents”
Clearly the inviduals concerned live on opposite sides of the political divide. The councillor responsible for the witty retort is not alone in this kind of petty point scoring, it seems to afflict quite a few politicians who post on Twitter. Rather than criticise might they not portray themselves and their policies in a better light if they expended their efforts in “selling” the positive benefit of their policies?
Which brings us to the sales coaching…. research carried out has indicated that customers like to deal with sales people who are professional and who make them feel valued. There are a variety of ways this can be achieved; for example a professional sales person will be able to demonstrate a knowledge of their clients industry. This encourages confidence in the sales person and is an important factor in building trust and rapport in the relationship.
Another important factor is how the sales person talks about their competition. The professional approach is to acknowledge they exist and to recognise that they have their strengths and then to emphasise the benefits of using the sales persons company to do business with instead. e.g. I was speaking to one of my new clients last week and they were telling me that they had used company x in the past. Apparently they thought their products were good, but they had moved to us because they felt our service was a little quicker and more efficient. This is professional and indicates honesty, which builds trust.
The sales person who spends their time criticising the competition and continually putting them down comes across as disingenuous and can quickly lose the respect of their client, and ultimately their business.
This is particularly important in an age where social media is increasing the impact of word of mouth recommendation and reputations can be quickly tainted.
A lesson for our local councillors perhaps?
Have you got any sales tips you would like to share?
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