One particular self-image possessed by high-achieving salespeople is that they see themselves as consultants rather than as salespersons.
High-achieving salespeople see themselves as problem solvers with their products or services rather than as vendors looking for someone who will trade them money for what they have to offer.
Approach Your Customers As Clients
They do not approach their customers with hat in hand, hoping for a sale. They approach their "clients" with the attitude that they are consultants calling on the prospect to help him or her solve a problem or achieve a goal.
Ask Questions and Listen Carefully
Seeing themselves as consultants, they ask questions carefully and listen intently. They focus all of their energies on understanding the customer's situation so that they can make intelligent recommendations based on what the customer really wants and needs.
Become An Expert in Your Field
As consultants, they recognize that they must be experts, authorities in their field. They know their products and services from one end to the other. They invest many hours familiarizing themselves with every single detail of what they sell, and of what their competitors sell as well. They know the strengths and weaknesses, the advantages and shortcomings, the features and benefits of what they are offering. They have excellent product knowledge which their customers can sense and which gives both themselves and their customers greater confidence throughout the sales conversation.
Differentiate Yourself from Your Competitors
Top salespeople, positioning themselves as consultants, see themselves as resources for their clients. They see themselves and carry themselves as advisors, mentors and friends. They become emotionally involved in their transactions and they are generally concerned that their product or service be the ideal solution to the real needs of the prospects they are dealing with. They differentiate themselves from their competitors by being more concerned with helping their prospects than with selling their products or services. Their customers often feel that they care more about them than they care about making a sale. And it's true.
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First, see yourself as a problem-solver rather than as a salesperson. Take sufficient time to understand the prospect's real need before you start selling.
Second, think of ways to tailor your product or service to your customer's needs so that he sees what you sell as the ideal solution for him.
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