Confidence in Sales

Published on November 16, 2016
As I work with clients to improve engagement with
clients and prospects, a recurring theme is how to build confidence for sales people and their managers.e knows they have to hit the numbers however there are common questions or concerns, like:
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  • How do I know what companies to target?
  • What size organisation is best for our business?
  • What is the best fit for our services with a customer?
  • How do I understand the customer’s needs?

In thinking through some of these questions, it helps to start from the position that there are potential clients that are better suited to your organisation, and vice versa. There are also clients that you don’t want.

This fit is often guided by the beliefs and values of each organisation, compared to demographics like sales, employee numbers or inventories. There are plenty of studies that show the better the fit, the higher retention which increases and sustains profit. Examples of this fit include:

  • Long term thinking
  • A desire to constantly improve
  • Belief in partnering, and
  • A philosophy of Win/Win

The fit can also be guided by the particular needs of the potential client. Industry specialisation can be a very successful strategy where you have skills or strengths that achieve better results for the relevant organisations.

Understanding the direct and indirect benefits that you achieve for clients is an interesting one. Direct benefits include cost reduction, sales increase, better margins etc. Indirect benefits can include improvement in productivity, safety, supply chain or other impacts achieved, e.g. personal results.

Often, indirect benefits can considerably outweigh direct benefits and the client discussion can seriously play to your strengths based on your industry understanding. In fact, we create value at the intersection of our industry knowledge, business acumen and our ability to explore options and value through questioning skills.

This value was articulated by Huthwaite’s Tom Snyder and Kevin Kearns in “Escaping the Price-Driven Cycle” (P108, McGraw Hill).
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How many times have you walked away from a client or prospect meeting with a real buzz because you know you have just created some great value?

Using your industry knowledge and business acumen to help the client to understand their real position today is a great source of confidence.

Finally, there’s understanding and acting on what you are passionate about. This is probably the biggest differentiator for anyone engaging with prospects and clients, and the most natural place for a salesperson to be.

Phil Hunt MBA
August, 2016