Too many salespeople are what I refer to as tactical salespeople. Opportunity, however, lies in being a strategic salesperson.
I believe the difference is huge! And it can be the difference between selling at a low margin short-term and selling at a high-margin long-term.
A tactical salesperson is focused on the features of what it is they sell. The questions they ask are all geared around getting the customer to think and see why they need what it is they’re selling.
The strategic salesperson is focused around the outcomes the customer is looking for. Their questions are focused on getting the customer to think about the outcomes they need to succeed.
Let me give you a couple of examples of questions a strategic salesperson would ask:
How do you see your competition changing in the next year?
How much information do you have as to how your customers like what you provide them?
Are the markets you service growing and, if so, are you growing with them?
How do you see your business changing in the next couple of years?
Each of these questions are focused on the customer and what it is they are dealing with or need to be dealing with.
When we ask a customer these types of questions, what we’re doing is becoming engaged in their business. These questions will in turn generate more questions and more discussion. The objective is for you to be seen as being different from other salespeople.
A tactical salesperson would never think of asking questions of this type. If they ask any questions at all, their goal is to get the customer thinking about what they need to buy from the salesperson right now. Yes, this strategy can and will create sales, but they will never be at the higher price point or for the longer duration that the strategic salesperson is achieving.
The other problem I see with being a tactical salesperson is the job they’re doing can be replaced by the internet. If all you’re doing is spitting out facts, then what makes you think you’re doing anything more than a website could be doing.
Your goal as a salesperson is to be seen strategic.
I’ll contend that in the long term, this is not only better job security but also better profits.
Copyright 2013, Mark Hunter “The Sales Hunter.” Sales Motivation Blog.