Sales trend six from the Barrett 12 Sales Trends for 2016 Report is ‘The Sales Curator™’.
A new sales capability is required in this information overloaded world. No longer are salespeople seen as the purveyors of information they once were in the 20th century, 21st century salespeople now need to be experts at sifting and sorting information for their clients and prospects.
They need to have in-depth knowledge about what they are selling, how it fits into a system, how it affects their clients and what is and isn’t relevant to each client situation. Like an expert museum or art curator, this sales trend sees 21st century salespeople needing to develop their skills as curators.
Curator stems from the Latin ‘curare’ which means ‘take care’. A curator is a manager or overseer; traditionally a curator or keeper of a cultural heritage institution like a gallery, museum, library or archive, is a content specialist involved with the interpretation of the heritage material.
Today, clients and prospects are faced with many choices, often too many choices, and in the absence of guidance in how to interpret and make sense of all the options available, people will either give up or pick something and hope it works out for the best.
Smart salespeople know that making themselves valuable is more than just showing up with the latest offering. Smart salespeople make it their business to know everything about what they offer and, more importantly, how what they offer fits into their clients’ worlds. They do not see what they offer as separate units, instead they see their offer as part of a complex system so they make it their business to understand then interpret the system or systems of which they are a part of.
This knowledge of the system and how it works is invaluable to clients and prospects. Buyers can make certain judgements about a product or service in itself but may not know the impact of such a product or service on the whole system. That is where the Sales Curator™ comes in, bringing a body of knowledge and history about how things work in concert, and the consequences of doing things this way or that.
Buyers are looking for quick turnarounds, but they may not have the time or the body of experience to make quick, informed and effective decisions. This is why the Sales Curator™ is so valuable to them. That person who can make sense, provide insight and sift through and sort the information into the arrangement that makes sense and gives confidence to the buyer and other relevant stakeholders. The Sales Curator™ is the go to person.
So, how do we become a Sales Curator™?
- Understand the system, markets, and business sector you work in and how it all fits together;
- Speak to experts in your field and find out what they look for and value as important;
- Read widely, outside your area of expertise; look for any connections, patterns and common threads;
- Understand what clients are really looking to solve, fix, make better, and so on; and besides looking for the tried and true solutions that work, see if there are alternatives that work as well;
- Pay attention to the details; excellence is in the details; and
- Keep on learning, listening, and paying attention.
In the 21st century sales world, Sales Curation™ is a vital and highly valuable skill we can all cultivate if we want to stay ahead and be a valuable asset to our clients and our companies.
You can also watch an interview that Sue did with John Smibert about this topic here.
Remember everybody lives by selling something.
Sue Barrett is the founder and chief executive of the innovative and forward thinking sales advisory and education firm, Barrett and the online sales education & resource platform www.salesessentials.com. Get to know her further on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.