I was recently discussing the definition of a salesperson with TKO Signs manager, Lee Faulkner. When I told him, he was an example of a good salesperson; he disagreed. In his mind, a salesperson used tactics to convince others to do what the salesperson wanted. I told him that was an old school outdated definition. Today, a good salesperson knows his customer and looks to solve their problems—ways to make their life easier.

Look for Problems and Turn Them into Opportunities

I’d been on surveys with Lee and seen him in action. He continually had his eye out for opportunities to help the customer and promote his department. I recall walking through a warehouse with Lee, on our way to measure for a sign, watching as he casually pointed out areas in which signage could help. He shared opportunities for product identification, promotion, and way finder signage all of which would improve their workspace. Eventually, the company contracted TKO Signs to solve several of the problems Lee had pointed out.

Take Pride in What You do

We have a new sales consultant not far removed from college. Mac Fiely is enthusiastic and gung ho about the company and his position. It’s a privilege to mentor him. We had discussed the keys to his success in sales—lead generation, relationship building, and problem solving. The other day he made a sales call to his Alma Mater. As he made his way on campus, he noticed a window decal with frayed edges, an outdated banner, and other graphics that due to poor condition or obsolescence diminished the schools brand. He took a moment, pointed out the areas of concern, and informed them we would be proud to help when they were ready.

Hard Sell Smells like Defeat

Old fashioned hard sell is on its way out. People are too busy to put up with the BS and too informed to be fooled. Taking the time to understand your customer and know their needs, while looking for ways to make their business more efficient and their life easier will make you invaluable—and a great salesperson. I’d like to know, do you have a favorite vendor or salesperson? What’s sets them apart?

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