I guess you could say that I have “Drank the Kool-Aid” On this one! There are just certain skills, attributes, and attitudes that you can have or develop that will put you in the leagues with the best. Read today and Tuesday, 3/28, to get the rest of the scoop. There is much to think about here.
Since late November of 2010, we have described many of the traits that a true successful professional would have. We have outlined the activities and processes that would, over time, make a verifiable difference in this individual’s ability to reach goals, and provide customer satisfaction.
We have discussed personality attributes and skills that make a difference over the last several posts. Once again it is time to talk about how a sales professional puts these all together and finds success.
Over the next three posts we will revisit these important posts and put these together in an effort to portray that individual who is sought by sales managers and customers alike.
This professional has learned the benefits of mastering relationships, both internal and external, to get the maximum leverage from each personal encounter. This professional knows the different methods of getting exposure, and how to capitalize on it. This individual is always prepared.
There will be some references to previous issues of Black Sales Journal, as I want to keep this as concise as possible, yet capitalize on the wealth of information that has been published to date.
Deep Enduring Relationships
There is no area more important in the long run than knowing how to ‘master the relationship’. It does not matter what your level of intelligence is if you cannot decipher how to ‘work’ your personal relationships to your advantage, and your customers benefit, you will not have maximum effectiveness.
There is an ‘art to the relationship’ that is undeniable. It cannot be substituted by process, intelligence, or hard work. You see, the ‘art of the relationship’ is not an inherited trait. It is something that you hone with every interface. It can be aided by having a gregarious and engaging personality.
The successful Black sales professional has the ability to form deep and enduring customer relationships (Black Sales Journal 1/13, Deep and Enduring Customer Relationships and Black Sales Journal 1/20, Deep and Enduring Customer Relationships II). This individual works with the assurance that existing relationships are strong enough to receive ‘preference’ as compared to ‘wanna-be’ sales professionals look to unseat him or her. In other words, the customer prefers to do business with someone like this professional, and that preference ‘spoils’ the customer. This is a powerful preference that is enduring, and anchors the relationship. We all want to work with someone that provides value, and is concerned about our business, and produces results for us.
This ‘preference’ exists not only because of the solid personal and business connection that exists, but also because the professional is effective in providing the customer something of value. Always strive to always be effective and always show value.
Being effective is a good start, yet by itself it is not enough. The consummate professional is more than just effective; he or she does those things that exude success. We talked about this in Black Sales Journal 3/7, Be the Consummate Professional. This individual is:
Most of these are self explanatory, yet I want to spend a minute on a couple of them:
Responsiveness is ever important. As stated in Black Sales Journal, Responsiveness – the Objective of the Sales Professional 6/16/2011, responsiveness is in the eyes of the customer. It is defined by the customers expectations, and includes such important items as:
- Answers the phone and returns calls promptly
- Keeps commitments
- Provides answers to inquiries and questions as soon as possible
- Stays in touch – communicates
- Provides requested information promptly
Knowledge will always set you apart. This knowledge could get you labeled an expert. This ‘designation’ comes from those people and businesses that have benefited from your knowledge, and make the claim in your behalf. See a most interesting set of articles in Black Sales Journal 12/20, Your Customer Needs an Expert and Black Sales Journal 6/27, More on Being an Expert – An Edge for the Black Sales Professional. Expert power is attractive to a customer.
Empathy provides a connection and a serum that convinces the customer you are real. If you have no empathy for the customer, then why are you calling on them? How are you going to solve their problem if you don’t have that connection? Put yourself in you customer’s shoes. Live their problems and your solutions will come about easier. Always keep in mind that a customer can tell when you have no empathy as easily as you can tell when a love interest of yours is not interested.
Now for the point that pulls this together: If you condition yourself to be accomplished at all of these different items, you will havecredibility. Enormous credibility is the product of having deep enduring relationships and being a consummate sales professional.
More to Come….
Armed with what is above you would think that success would be much more probable. You probably are correct, although what are missing are the activities, habits, and processes that make the person formidable even if some of the personality issues are missing.
We will cover them in the next two information-filled posts. These are powerful for the Black sales professional. These items are hard to put together, and even more difficult to master, yet when you do, you have an enormous amount of power and potential.
Next up: Black Sales Journal 3/28– The Ultimate Sales Professional Pt. II –Sales Professional in Action
We hope you will read it. If you have comment, write me at Michael.Parker@BlackSalesJournal.com.