Sales is not an easy career, says veteran sales trainer Mark Zokle. Salespeople are often torn between their customer and the company they represent. Here, Zokle answers a few common questions about how to be the salesman your customer needs while being the employee your job expects.
Q: How can I set myself and my company apart from the competition?
Mark Zokle: There is a common misbelief that clients place the most weight on price. That simply isn’t true, at least in my experience. Your customers already expect quality so that isn’t necessarily a determining factor either. What I have found is that customers tend to trust the reps who are competent and who truly believe in their product.
Q: What are some qualities customers look for in sales representatives?
Mark Zokle: Customers often look for a salesperson who knows their company – someone who is familiar with the industry and can detect subtle nuances or anticipate situations that might affect their needs. A salesman who doesn’t understand how his company’s product best benefits his client’s operation will likely lose the bid to one that does.
Q: How should I present my company’s value to my potential clients?
Mark Zokle: In order to be successful, you must be able to accurately and clearly define what value your product or service brings to a customer. Your customer will likely know what your product does; it is your job to explain to them the subtle nuances that make it a worthwhile expense. If possible, break it down into tangible dollar figures using real-life examples.
Q: Why are effective salespeople one of the most important assets to a business?
Mark Zokle: In B2B sales, you serve as the face of your company. You are the one that makes the first impression, at that is the time when many companies decide whether or not to buy from you. You are the person responsible for generating revenue and ensuring that your clients are happy so that they continue to spend money with your company.