Sixteen Years and Still Learning

June 10th, 2010 by

By Pat Hinds

I read an interesting article on the weekend called, “Even a great idea can’t sell itself”; it is a story about an engineer who built a great product but was having trouble selling it. Listed below is the section that stood out for me.

“Engineers can be too technical for sales,” Mr. de Milleville says. “Once, I was trying to sell a potential client on the energy savings and I was going nowhere. So one of our sales representatives took the lead and he made the sale right away. What did you do?, I asked him.”

The client owned a multi-residential installation building and was more concerned about whether the system would allow too much control to the tenants than she was about energy savings, he says. The sales representative explained how the thermostat actually weakens the tenants’ control.
“Now, she’s a perfectly happy customer. This is the difference between technical people and good sales people,” he says.

I have been a professional sales person for 16 years and I am still learning how to be a better sales person. The role that sales people play is often taken for granted or misunderstood until you get situations like the one outlined in the article. I had a conversation with a person this week who is a SalesForce.com administrator and developer located in Edmonton and he is working in Toronto because he did not think the CRMmarket in Alberta could support a SalesForce.com developer. I have been a partner with SalesForce.com for six months and business is great.

It is my opinion that the value of sales person has increased significantly since the inception of sales 2.0. My definition of sales 2.0 is the customer buying process has changed as a result of all the information that is available to them (internet, mobile device…); as a result sales people need to leverage customer information to be successful. The best way to get information is by asking the customer a question and that is something a web page has not mastered. The realization by the engineer in the article is it takes a skill to ask questions to determine goals, problem, needs and translate this information into a sale.

http://www.financialpost.com/small-business/Even+great+idea+sell+itself/3120875/story.html#ixzz0qQGaJ4HO

Topics: Sales Consulting