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The Sales Buzz Issue 139 - Why You Shouldn’t Appear To Be a Sales Person
September 12, 2011

In this week's Sales Buzz:

Why you shouldn't appear to your prospects and customers as a sales person and how to reframe the perspective they have of you.

A sales technique that will break down barriers and get buyers asking you for guidance and advice. Interested, read on...

Reframe Your Prospects Perceptions of You as a Salesperson

Why you shouldn’t appear to be a sales person to your prospects and customers, and why you should reframe their viewpoint so they will perceive you as a benefit to them.

Ask yourself this question: Do I want my prospects and customers to see me as a salesperson?

Your answer should be based on the reaction you get from your prospects and customers.

What happens as you approach them?

Are they guarded or open with you?

Could your long and short term relationships be better?

Do they ever ask you for guidance or advice?

Reframing the perceptions that your customers and prospects have of you is a sales technique that all sales people can benefit from using in all types of sales roles:

Direct sellers, B2B, Retail sales, and sellers that bid for high value contracts and tenders.

As a sales manager I’ve seen some really great sales people, in a wide range of industries and marketplaces, who smash their sales targets because the prospect views them as something other than a salesperson.

Here are some examples:

A waste and recycling salesman that gives new prospects the impression he is a driver or service operative rather than a salesman.

A workwear salesman that has such a good relationship with customers that they see him as a Health & Safety advisor and regularly come to him for advice.

A utilities energy seller who approaches customers as they enter a national store. The seller connects the product with the store by offering a way to increase loyalty points for the prospect. No lies, no deception, just a reframing of the prospect’s perception of the person approaching them.

The owner of a small business who sells and fits double glazing to homes. When he comes to do a quote he is in his work clothes and drives a van. The prospect sees the guy who will be fitting their windows, not a salesman on commission.

And the easiest one of all... Instead of a sales person you can become an account manager, there to look after your customers old and new.

The technique is to align yourself with the provision of the product or service that the prospect will be buying. You should also aim to get the right balance of reframing the prospect’s viewpoint without going too far and telling, or insinuating, untruths.

Retail sales tips for this technique

When I’m shopping I’m a people watcher. I watch customers and shoppers and the cat and mouse games that play out as the seller hunts their prey and the prospect tries not to get snared in a web of commitment.

As the sales person approaches the prospect avoids eye contact and the seller opens the gambit with a line that makes it evident that no thought has been put into this important action of first contact:

Retail sales person: Can I help you?

Customer: No thanks only looking.

The seller has no comeback that can be seen as a continuation of this exchange. Anything they say now is starting again, taking a second shot. Game over and no sale. Even if the customer wanted information, help, or guidance, they are often reluctant to ask a sales person.

Now consider the above scenario and imagine the sales person is replaced by someone else.

On a car sales forecourt the sales people are replaced by overall wearing technicians.

Their mission: to give you information and guidance on the best car for your needs.

In a retail fashion store sales assistants are now image advisors with a clear cut opening line that says:

I’m here to help you look good. Not to sell to you.

In a furniture store: Interior designers help you with color choice and style of furniture.

And wouldn’t it be nice to buy a pair of shoes or trainers from someone who actually knows what they are talking about.

...On the one occasion I bought a pair of trainers in the USA I can say that the young lady that helped me had good knowledge about the range and their uses.

Something that is very rare in the UK.

Stop looking like a sales person

No matter which sales role you are in, Retail sales, Direct sales, B2B, Field sales, you should look at your body language and if it gives away the fact that you are an undercover seller you better change it.

I can spot a sales professional at 200 yards. The way they stand, walk, sit, even when they are waiting in reception and they think no one is looking. It’s like getting into character before a play.

Change your character, become someone that the buyer wants to see and talk to. A sales person offer few benefits to a buyer, but a consultant, guide, authority figure, adviser, and many other titles depending on your market, can be of help to a potential customer.

See more free sales training on creating an image to suit your customers and prospects at Professional Selling Skills...

I'm Stephen Craine from the website

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