A key issue for aspiring and current salespeople and sales managers is an understanding of the critical success factors in selling. At the top of a list resulting from research conducted be Marshall et. al. (2003) are two factors that some of us may not have expected. Let’s quickly look at their top two.
1. We listen well.
Gone are the days of the silver-tongued orator who was a talking, walking product encyclopaedia. Today, with product parity and almost perfect information the salesperson’s focus has shifted from providing information to an exchange of information. At the heart of all this is building trust-based relationships anchored in a solid understanding of both our business and theirs: and how can we achieve this without being excellent listeners?
2. We have excellent follow-up skills.
If we don’t practice excellent follow-up skills how can they trust us to keep our commitments? Without this we may never rise above offering the expected service. And as one of my new favourite senior execs (hello Andrea) loves to say, “if we don’t offer the ‘augmented service,’ we ain’t saying nothing.”
OK. So, were these two at the top of your list, and what would you like to add to it?
Catch you next week!
Herman D. Alvaranga is president of the Caribbean School of Sales Management. Connect the dots, and call us instead of looking outside the Caribbean for world-class sales and marketing consulting and training.