Professional visitor or professional sales person?
Friday, April 13, 2007/
I am seeing a lot of time wasted by sales staff aimlessly chatting with clients. I am seeing a lot of time wasted by sales staff aimlessly chatting with clients.
How often are you left with the feeling that your sales people are seeing clients, but beyond the “hello” and general chat, nothing of substance is happening?
I call it the phenomenon of “professional visitation”.
Often the cause can be isolated to a sales person’s reticence to ask the “hard questions”. Preferring to operate at a more superficial level, there is little chance the sales person will ever become involved in negotiating their way through customer demands and price issues.
Contact time with customers should always be productive. It is not just us who are busy – so are our customers, and the last thing they want is an interruption to their day that does not yield results.
Have a look at this profile and ask yourself are you employing professional visitors?
- Continual rounds of visits to clients they are comfortable to do business with.
- Lengthy amounts of time spent establishing “rapport”.
- Difficulty zeroing in on real customer problems rather than symptoms.
- Inability to effectively negotiate the way around the “price” question.
- Sticking to the “safe” but irrelevant topics.
- Walking away with no advancement in the sales process.
- Selling the same old products/services, not adding new ones.
- Customers continually asking for more discount.
- The customer controlling the sales process, not your representative.
Have you ever thought that if only half the effort was put into representing the company’s interests as well as the customers, there wouldn’t be this constant battle to provide more discount, more often?
The professional visitor hesitates to get into the fray with customers as they are not comfortable being assertive. The cost to you becomes more volume at the expense of profit, a failure to see opportunities with customers, and longer than necessary decision cycles. Are these costs that you can continue to carry?
If you have any of these people on staff, you have a problem. Have a look at some of my other postings for how to get them performing better.
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