[Peter Gilbert] Two trillion dollars worth of transactions every day. Planet Earth is open for business. And it never stops. Businesses selling to consumers. Businesses selling to other businesses. The global economy is expanding rapidly. Each year over fifty million businesses are created. It's chaotic, hyper-competitive. What does this mean for sales?
[Peter Gilbert] The old debate about whether salespeople are born or made rages on, but it is really a non-argument these days, and great salespeople require a combination of natural talent and the skills acquired through training, practice, coaching, reading, continuous self-improvement and motivation. Here are a few suggestions on working smart
[Peter Gilbert] Since the emergence of organised selling, generations of salespeople have been steeped in the traditions of FAB (features, advantages and benefits) and the old favourite, the USP (unique selling proposition). These simple concepts served generations of salespeople well. However, markets have changed, rendering these familiar, rather product-centric tools all but obsolete.
[Peter Gilbert] Amazingly, I still receive a stream of advertisements, articles and promotional material promising to reveal “The Secrets” that will guarantee success in sales. As Jeff Foxworthy, well-known ‘Red Neck' comedian, said of Victoria's Secret (purveyors of sexy/scanty lingerie): “Victoria's Secret doesn't have a whole lot of secrets anymore.” I suspect that this applies, at least in some degree, to sales as well.
[Peter Gilbert] Personality tests are a popular component of many organisations' hiring processes. As these tests contend to measure traits and characteristics that remain stable over time, it is intuitive to believe information regarding candidates' individual differences in these areas would be helpful when making selection decisions. Yet evidence supporting the usefulness of personality tests in the hiring process has been called into serious question.
[Peter Gilbert] Much of what we know about sales and selling originates in the US. As the early pioneers spread out across America and created many new and essentially rural communities, the first salespeople, the peddlers soon followed. This American experience has been, to some degree, mirrored in many other countries, including South Africa.
[Peter Gilbert] It is becoming increasingly difficult for companies to differentiate themselves by what they sell. If they are unwilling to differentiate themselves by how they sell, then they will, by default, end up differentiating themselves by how much they sell it for.
[Peter Gilbert] 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.
[Peter Gilbert] In this, the third of my series on types of salespeople, I take a look at the relationship salesperson (QIII), who is typically hard working, conservative in his or her views and very protective of “his” or “her” customers.
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