Recently I came across a funny blog post by Sean O’Neil, The Top 100 Overused Business Clichés. After reading it, I realized I use many of these phrases every day! However, when considering these clichés from the perspective of what makes a GREAT sales professional, a few came to mind when considering our team at Square Root. We are a team of experienced and strategic sales professionals who are focused in helping their clients succeed, but we’re also not immune to clichés.
Some (many) of these phrases are completely ridiculous and way, way overused. When thinking about what you want in a great sales professional, several are spot on. They are trustworthy characteristics prospective clients should look for when working with sales professionals, as well as qualities sales leaders should consider for their team. For the purpose of this post, I am going to focus on just 4 of these clichés.
1, Win – Win
Every sales person worth their salt should always strive for a win – win solution for their client. If you are selling a solution that only benefits one party, the partnership will not last. It is just a matter of time before you are no longer doing business together. If the salesperson is willing to sell a deal that only benefits the company and not the client, it won’t take long for the client to ask what or where is the value and if you can prove this out. When this happens, the salesperson has done both the client and your company a disservice.
The same holds true in reverse. If the client is the only party getting value, the salesperson has sold a deal that over burdens his or her company and their team’s resources. This will cause a lot of internal strife and stress, not to mention little-to-no financial gain. So, always look for and appreciate the sales professional who wants to truly sell win – win solutions!
2. Core Competency
When sales people typically speak of core competency it is in reference to a solution that will free a client to focus on what their business does best. The solution purchased will handle the ancillary components. The same holds true for a salesperson. They need to stick to their core competencies as a sales professional. If their strength is technical understandings and explanations, relationship building, solution selling, creative deal making, etc…whatever the strength is, stick to it. The best salespeople know their core strengths and won’t deviate from them just to secure the deal. They understand this could lead to miscommunication with the client and lead to the wrong solution being sold.
3. Improve ROI
A co-worker put the concept of ROI into a far better light recently calling it an ROO, Return On Objective. All too often we think of how we can deliver a return on investment, rather than solving the client’s original problem. To me, that’s what the client is really looking for and how we should package what we deliver. As a salesperson, if you can deliver a solution that provides a better way for your client to do their job—or, improve on their key business objectives—that is what you should feature. If you can deliver an increased ROO, tell the client! This will provide a much more attractive solution and create a trustworthy relationship.
Transparency is another clichés that is used so much people tend to overlook it as an important asset. However, it is one of the most valuable characteristics a salesperson can possess. Being transparent with a client isn’t about saying yes or you have the perfect solution. More often than not, it is explaining how a solution would or would not work and sharing both the good and the bad. If it is all good news, then fantastic. If we’re realistic though, that’s hardly ever the case. It is just as important to share the bad news as well.The client will appreciate this honesty knowing it will help them make a better decision. Being honest and upfront, you will have earned their respect and trust for all future interactions.
Bonus: Putting Lipstick on a Pig
Honestly, I have never understood this analogy. If you are telling a prospect that if they dress up an existing solution, i.e. “put lipstick on a pig” you are basically insulting them and how they are addressing their issues. This is one of those times where “transparency” is uber valuable, but how you deliver the message is every bit as important. There are better ways to let the prospect know their internal fix isn’t their best option or solution, but telling them they are “putting lipstick on a pig” isn’t that option. And if you are saying this internally, then the selling is actually just beginning and you need to sell them the right solution to better meet their needs.
Clichés aside, does this sound like a team you’d like to work with? Connect with us to request a demo and hear what our Store Relationship Platform, CoEFFICIENT®, could do for your team.