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Types of salespeople: the display salesperson

In the fourth of my series on profiling types of salepeople, I take a look at the Quadrant IV or display salesperson, who is required if products are standardised, commodity products or services.
Customer companies are completely experienced in the product's uses and applications. Decision complexity is low since only one or two administrative or purchasing buyers make the decision and features and options are standard. Only two needs typically impact decisions: price and convenience (of orders and deliveries).

Fulfilment approach (low-tech & low-touch):

Requirements QIV display solutions
Seller's company imageThe dominant supplier or the standard in the industry; Convenient locations; attractive prices; Available when needed; Serving customers everywhere
Lead generating methods Maintain brand awareness; Offer buying convenience and price advantage; Use convenience tools and incentives; (mail-order catalogues, toll free numbers, discount coupons, and special promotions)
Qualifying criteriaA hot market; an abundance of customers who know they want or need the product or service; Prospects question supplier's price, or ability to deliver
New business presentationsStress flexible feature and options; Packaging; Use catalogues, point-of-purchase displays, and advertising; Emphasise ease or convenience of making the purchase; Highlight a price advantage to buying from you; Presentation bottom line: “we offer the best buy”
Solid answers to natural objectionsObjection: “your product is not the way we've always done things.”; Response: convince the customer you offer the best buy
Closing techniquesMake it easy for the customer to buy through purchase conveniences such as credit cards, convenient terms, contracts or telephone ordering; Use sales promotions with price incentives to induce the customer to buy now; Use annual or periodic reminders for renewal of the sale
Customer relationsIn business-to-business sales: annual organisation-to-organisation meetings in consumer sales: surveys of customer satisfaction, consumer affairs depts.
Customer serviceMake it easy to return items and provide substitutions; Automate delivery tracking and share the information; Do joint usage-forecasting
ResalePromote brand loyalty; Emphasise inventory restocking; Offer special discounts, incentives; Provide special financing

Sales force approach (low-tech & low-touch):

Requirements QIV display solutions
Type of salespersonDisplay
Traits & characteristicsNot committed to a career in sales ; Work supports non-work or life goals and desires; Enjoys people and tolerant of constant people contact
Sales styleNon-confrontive; Systematic
Sales focusCommunicate availability; Responsive vs. Proactive
RoleResponsive/service oriented
Technical abilityProduct price and delivery system knowledge
Training Product knowledge; Delivery system knowledge; Telephone skills; Customer relations skills
Length of time to close as permanent buyerUp to 36 months
Length of contact after closeNone until the next time they call for an order or are due for a reorder; For a special promotion, like a price discount
Corporate support and structureAdvertising to position the product and make it easy to buy; Competitive price; Multiple locations for quick delivery or a system to deliver products or services quickly

About Peter Gilbert

A sales veteran with over 30 years of experience, Peter Gilbert is MD of HR Chally SA (, an international sales consulting company specialising in talent management and recruitment. He is passionate about sales as a profession and the identification of real sales talent who can really sell! Email him at