Sell to people who really need you Establish a long-term relationship rather than one-off sales

I heard it again yesterday, this time from a former colleague. He was reminiscing about a sales guy we used to work with back when dinosaurs roamed the Earth. “He could sell sand in the desert.” Yeesh. Variations include, “ice in the Arctic,” and a few others not suitable for posting.

As a sales professional, is that how you really want to be spending your time? As a sales manager or business owner, is that how you want your people to work?

Today’s sales professionals work hard to develop a consultative selling approach. Rather than a series of unlikely one-off sales, we’re trying to establish a long-term relationship. We want to provide initial, demonstrable value so that we have the opportunity to come back with related offerings month after month. Ultimate success is not a numerical value, it’s being invited to our clients’ planning meetings.

So, rather than treating all leads equally, it’s important to apply some rigor to the process of Lead Qualification. Today’s style of sales engagement requires beginning with what is at least potentially a good fit. The salespeople who could sell sand in the desert are a part of sales history, and should probably stay that way.

01/09/2013

About Pete Wroblewski

As co-founder of The Mx Group, Pete has provided strategy and leadership in many areas of the organization, including sales and marketing, operations and customer experience, since the company’s beginning. Pete and Andy worked together to pioneer many of the concepts that are central to the database and response management services, including the focus on ROI. Life before The Mx Group included several senior-level positions with Continental Illinois Bank, Nevada Pay Television and Omnigistics. Pete holds a B.A. in finance from Illinois State University.