Effective Sales Traits

In their book titled Sales Management:  Analysis and Decision Making, Thomas Ingram et al. establish trust-building as a foundation of effective salespeople. Trust-building has five components:  client orientation, competence, dependability, candor, and compatibility. The most important, and the one that heritage professionals have the greatest trouble with is having a client orientation. Far too often when closing in on a sale, heritage professionals are thinking about what is in it for them, not how can they best help their potential client.

What does a client orientation mean? Ingram et al. cite seven research findings regarding what customers value in salespeople:

  1. are personally accountable for the customer’s desired result,
  2. understand the customer’s business,
  3. will be an advocate for the customer so the customer receives maximum value from the selling company,
  4. will be a business consultant who thinks beyond the current transaction,
  5. will solve customer problems,
  6. will be creative in responding to customer needs, and
  7. will be easily accessible.

This list is a good one to use when reflecting on the practices of you and your sales team. Our tip this week is to get your sales team together and discuss this list. The best salespeople put their client first—above that of their own firm. That’s an idea that’s pretty radical for most organizations in the heritage industry and one that could give your organization a competitive advantage.  

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