What makes us truly unique in selling? I have dedicated my professional life to identifying what are the things that make the top sales professionals the best in their field and then to help others to role model those traits.
In 25 years of selling/account management/sales leadership the key thing that stands out above everything else is the ability of the sales person/account manager to create powerful rapport and trust within the relationship and then to use that to create the environment where a client will freely and happily share their challenges, wants and needs with the professional with a view to a satisfactory resolution of their problem.
Its said that there are only 4 ways to make a sale: 1. solve a problem 2. save time 3. save money 4. make the client 'feel good' (the EQ or emotional quotient of the sale).
I was therefore gratified yesterday after sitting down with a new partner company Deep Insight who can actually measure the quality of the sales relationship - the level of trust - that exists between you and your clients, partners or indeed staff. It did my old engineering self good to realise that there is now an effective tool for quantifying 'trust' for 'what gets measured gets done'.
Their model for sales uniqueness was similar to my own
Uniqueness = Problem Solving + Relationship
in which they measure problem solving and relationship as unique factors, even if I probably would put the relationship part first - for no one will share a problem unless they have a good relationship with you first.
Sales people, account managers, trusted advisors - whatever the term that we use - have a changed role in today's world. Where before it was just bringing the message to the market, now it's about interpreting and tailoring that information so that it becomes a solution to the unique problems that our individual clients face.
Between Deep Insight's ability to measure and my ability to educate professionals in becoming 'trusted advisors' through our new SellingEQ telecoaching and sales leaders programme, I think that we now have a winning (and measurable) formula for all our clients.