25 July 2006

Salespeople Can Be the Definition of Success

by Jeffrey Gitomer

The sales world is the real world. It is the heart of the world's commerce, the pulse of the world's economy.

And salespeople drive it.

Many people (including salespeople) never give a thought to the depth of sales and selling.

Think about what sales consists of: It's about communication, engagement and needs. It's about negotiation, orders, money and competition. It's about customers' expectations, delivery, keeping promises, relationships and reputation. It's about goals, success and failure.

And sales has its own language. Consider the following real-world sales definitions:

Customers: People who provide revenue.

Satisfied customers: People who will shop any place. All satisfied customers are vulnerable to the competition.

Satisfaction: The lowest level of acceptable service.

Loyal customers: People who buy from you more than once and are willing to refer someone else to you and give a testimonial.

Angry customer: An opportunity to recover and serve in a memorable way. Also an indication that you did something wrong.

Price: The most feared word in sales. Often confused by weak salespeople for "value."

Discount: Money you take off the top line that comes right off your bottom line.

Not interested: The prospective customer's response when a salesperson is not interesting.

Engagement: A salesperson's ability to gain interest on a genuine level.

Objection: A stall or an indication of buyer interest. Either way, the customer is saying, "Clarify."

Cold call: A rude interruption of a prospect by a salesperson who is too lazy to network or earn a referral. It's also the worst way to make a sale.

Service: Something to be of 24/7.

Belief: The inner feeling that allows a salesperson to win sales.

Opportunity: Every interaction with a customer or a prospect.

Referral: If approached properly, the easiest sale to make.

Unsolicited referral: The ultimate sales report card.

Testimonial: The most powerful sales tool.

Brochure: A bunch of self-serving messages that marketing people and advertising agencies put together at great expense, which customers throw away without reading.

Training: If presented in a real-world, compelling manner, an opportunity to learn.

Boss: A leader, a teacher, a coach, an encourager. Not a manager.

Real boss: The customer.

Jeffrey Gitomer, author of The Sales Bible and Customer Satisfaction is Worthless, Customer Loyalty is Priceless, is president of Buy Gitomer of Charlotte, N.C. He gives seminars, runs annual sales meetings, and conducts training programs on selling and customer service. He can be reached by email at jgitomer@bizjournals.com or at 800-242-5388. He also has a web site at www.gitomer.com.

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