Why Most Salespeople Are Order Takers And Not Sellers by @keenan

Quick, what do you consider to be the number one job of sales people?   Quick, answer it in your head.

Are you thinking about it?

I will give you a hint. It’s NOT selling stuff or driving revenue or some results oriented thing.

What do you think?  What have you come up with?

Did you say:

  1. Building relationships
  2. Knowing how to close
  3. Negotiating well
  4. Knowing the product
  5. Setting goals
  6. Over coming objections
  7. Being strategic
  8. Giving killer pitches and demos
  9. or did you say something else?

All of these are relevant to some degree or another, but they are not the most important element of a sales person’s job.

The most important aspect of a sales person’s job is to influence or put differently, to get the prospect to let you help them.

Influence: a person or thing with the capacity or power to affect someone or something.

The core of a salesperson’s job is to influence a sale and the people engaged in the sale. Without influence, a sales person is not selling.

Selling is about change, and it’s salespeople’s job to influence that change. Salespeople who can’t influence change are simply order-takers.

Not enough sales leaders and sales people understand this, and it’s affecting their ability to drive revenue.

Not enough sales people understand this critical distinction between selling (influencing the sale) and order taking.

The best salespeople do, and they possess the ability to wield deep influence with their prospects and customers.  They move deals right to left, up and down, north and south, east and west based on what’s happening in the account, and the goals the buyer is looking to attain. They influence the people, issues, objections, and challenges their buyer’s face through out the sales process. Great sales people aren’t victimized by them, they are reacting to them in a fashion that increases their probability of winning the sale.

Great sales people understand their worth as a sales person is derived from how well they can influence the sales process and their buyers.

Unfortunately, most sales people are victims of the sale, wielding little influence and simply reacting to the demands and requests of the buyer, ultimately hoping they win the deal.

Get the Buyer to Let You Help Them

Influence is given. It can not be taken without permission.  You can not influence someone who has not consciously given you permission. Until a buyer lets a salesperson help them, nothing is going to happen. It doesn’t matter if the buyer allows the salesperson to do a demo or meet other people in the organization.  It doesn’t matter if the buyer says they like the product or takes the sales reps call, if they buyer will not let the sale person help them solve a real problem or set of problems, the rep is not selling. They’re just taking orders.

However, once a buyer agrees they need help and are willing to let the sales person help them, they have given permission, and the sale has begun.

Too few sales people understand this vital difference in their job, and because of it, they are unable to position themselves as influencers. They pitch and push, taking orders and barking out the value of their product to all that will listen and who are willing to go on the ride. But they aren’t selling. When a deal goes south, they are powerless to stop it. When a new buyer enters the situation, they are neutralized, assuming they even see it coming. If a blocker starts making progress, they have no way to combat the threat.

Sales people who are unable to influence the sale or don’t realize it’s their job to influence the sale are victims of the sale, not drivers of it.

The value of your sales team can be easily measured by the amount of influence they are able to wield with their prospects and customers.

Evaluating for Influence

To many, it’s difficult to test for influence. How do you know if your reps are influencing the sale or reacting to it? How do you know if your reps are executing to an effective deal strategy designed to ensure they win the deal?

Deal reviews, that’s how.

The key to a solid deal review is to dig deep into HOW the rep is managing a deal (an opportunity.) You want to understand how they are influencing the opportunity, what elements the salesperson understands, what they are targeting and why.

Here are some questions to ask in deal reviews to ascertain if your sales people are influencing the deal or if they are just going along for the ride:

  1. Why do they (the prospect) need to buy (or why do they need a new solution), what’s their motivation to change?
  2. What happens if they don’t do anything?
  3. How are they doing it today?
  4. What is it about how they are doing things today that is causing problems?
  5. How is the problem affecting their business (competition, cash flow, product development, sales, marketing, productivity, etc.)?
  6. Why did they choose the approach?
  7. What’s the next customer “yes?”
  8. What other solutions are they considering?
  9. Which key stakeholders are helping vs. combating the solution and why?
  10. What are the prospects decision criteria
  11. What’s the reps deal strategy and how does it take into consideration the answers to the above?
  12. And more

A rep who can answer all these questions and more is likely influencing the deal, not being victimized by it. Data and knowledge are at the core to influence and therefore the more data a rep has, the higher the probability they are influencers.

Sales people can not be influencers without a massive amount of opportunity awareness and data. They have to have deep, relevant, business knowledge of their prospects and their prospect’s business challenges.

Sales people’s job is to influence the sale. It’s not to be an order taker. It’s not to react to whatever the prospect says or demands. That’s order taking.

It’s time we start taking more stock of the influence we have in the sale. Salespeople are not paid to be order takers. We’re paid to influence the sale, to provide information, insight, support, guidance, and advice that increases the opportunity the buyer chooses our solution over the competition or the status quo.

Let’s put an end to order taking and earn our keep by being powerful, knowledge driven influencers. It’s what we’re paid for.

Will You Be Remembered?


It’s important, perhaps even crucial that your business stands out and makes an impression on the market. You need customers to remember your company when they think about a second purchase. Or, that they recall the name of your business to search for it if they saw one of your advertisements. This is all about making your company as memorable as possible, ensuring that the name of your business rolls off the tongue of your customers. Or, that they think about certain brand qualities when they see the logo of your company.


So, the question is how do you make your business memorable. Well, there are quite a few approaches to this problem. For instance, you should think about certainly think about psychology. Certain things are more memorable to us than others, and we’re going to look into how to use these factors to your advantage. But before we get to that, let’s think about you. The person running your company that people see at the head of the business does matter. You need to make sure you are appealing as part of the brand.

Part Of The Work Force, Part Of The Brand


So, how do you make yourself as interesting as memorable as possible? Well, the first step is ensuring that customers know that you’re the person behind the company. The simplest way to do this is to add a profile to your business website and make sure that customers know you are the one behind the social media profiles. Note, this doesn’t mean that you have to update your social profiles yourself. You just need to make sure that each public sector of your company has the same feel and traits. This will make customers think of one person behind the entire company, you.

Now as far as making yourself interesting enough to be remembered, you need to show some skin. You need to let them know who you are and what you stand for. It’s like being a politician. They need to know what makes you different from the rest. And remember, everyone loves a good underdog, so it’s not a bad idea to share some personal info on why you started your company.


Of course, it’s not just about you. If an employee works for you, they are part of your brand. They need to be likable, charming and charismatic. That’s why you want to be very careful when hiring new employees, particularly if a large part of their job will be being part of the public face of your business.

It’s All In The Name


Think of the household names that you are familiar with. Disney, Sony, Microsoft, Daz, Amazon and the list goes on. What do they all have in common? We think you’ll agree that they are quite unique and as such rather difficult to forget. Now, you might think this is merely good fortune or sheer luck, and in some cases it is. For instance, Walt Disney just had a rather unique name that he used to his advantage. Would he have been quite as successful if his last name had been Jones? Probably not, or he might have chosen a different name for his company. As for Microsoft, that’s clearly a marketing decision. Micro, meaning simple and efficient as well as techy with soft added on to make customers feel as though the software isn’t too complex. This plays directly into the key idea of the Microsoft brand that the user interface is always easy. Of course, getting the right catchy, cool name isn’t always simple. Indeed, these days you may find that the best business names are off the market. You might have to buy or bargain for them if you have your mind set on a name that you know will be a winner for your company.

When you do pick your business name to make sure that you run it by marketing first. You can even use polls to find out which one is more attractive to the target audience.

Pictures Speak Louder Than Words



Here’s a fun psychological fact. We’re better at remembering pictures than we are names. So, you could argue that your business logo is actually one of the most important of your brand. As such, you do want to think about what it looks like and whether it is memorable. That’s why many businesses invest in the services of a professional designer, rather than just taking one out of a cookie cutter template design frame. If you can find a truly original logo design for your business, you will already have primed your company for success.

Take this advice, and you will be able to ensure that customers never forget your company.



The Importance Of Securing Your Brand Presence

When you’re starting a new business, you need to stand out. There are so many people who are taking matters into their own hands nowadays and venturing out on their own. While you may have an innovative idea, it can easily be pinched if you don’t patent it quick enough; or if it’s unpatentable, there is probably somebody out there doing exactly the same thing. Having a patent lawyer is important to establish your brand in the most effective way possible. But for those who are beginners in business, how do you go about it?

Why Do You Need Branding?

All of the most successful corporations and businesses around the world have a branding that they stick to. Whether it’s the red colour of Coca Cola, the golden arches of McDonalds or the sleek, monochrome label of Chanel, these are all things that matter – and that’s just the logos. Branding is so much more than that. It incorporates your whole image, how you look and interact with your customers. You make a statement with your personal brand and create an image which is synonymous with what your business is about.

Setting Your Brand

If you aren’t creative or artistically gifted, and don’t have ideas jumping out at you about how to best engage customers, looks for an innovative company such as Iconic Brand to give you some ideas about how to get started. What you are looking for is the ability for these companies to give you something that customers from your target demographic are going to want to invest in and remain loyal to. With so many different options to choose from nowadays, they need to invent an exciting and exhilarating concept for your customers to really cling onto. Everything from the copy used to the graphics displayed need to be bang on in terms of driving potential buyers over to your business. If you’re searching for tips to build your roofing business brand, there are some you can find out here.


The bigger the budget, the bigger the brand. It’s a cold, hard truth that money talks, especially within marketing and when trying to stake your claim on an already expansive market. See how much money you have to play with when it comes to branding, and make sure that you are putting it towards the right place. A lot of companies are now gearing towards the innovative experience that certain brands offer; you may be familiar with brands like Walls and Marmite who have done everything from pop-up shops to shutting down the whole of Regent Street in London UK to offer potential customers an immersive concept. While smaller businesses may not be able to achieve that level of interaction, especially when starting out and not having established a brand to that extent, it is definitely something to aim for and shows a relatively new way of looking at how branding can be so specific and relative, really hitting on the niche of nostalgia. When people invest their feelings into your brand, they are parting with a whole lot more than you think – it’s time to hold on to that.

A Simple Guide To A Better Work Environment!

It’s hard to run a business if your office is an unhappy place to work in. So, I’ve come up with a few ways to help you create a better work environment:


(Flickr: https://flic.kr/p/fQ6BCB)

Social Media

Time and time again we’ve spoken about how important social media is to a business. And, believe it or not, it can make your business a much happier place to work. You can turn to social media as a means for employees to communicate with one another. As we all know, communication is key in the workplace. Create groups on Facebook or LinkedIn, for employees of your business only. It gets everyone together in a social group and they can chat about things together. You’re throwing back to the early days of social media here. Back when it was all about talking to people, connecting with one another. Your employees can interact and their bonds will strengthen. It’s a simple way for people to communicate when they’re not in the office.

Some companies take things a step further than this and create a social network. Creating an in-house social network means you’re closed off from the outer world. It’s all about your business now. The concept is the same as creating groups on other social networking sites. You’re still encouraging interaction, but you can do it via your own network. This ensures more privacy and can be a bit more exciting for staff too. No one else can access your social network, so it’s like they’re members of an exclusive group.

The great idea is to invite new employees to your social media groups before they start work. It gives them a chance to get to know people in the office and have a chat before joining. This means they should fit in a lot better, and work is a far happier place for them. When everyone is talking outside of work, using social media, it leads to a better workplace. People feel more comfortable around one another, it’s like you’re working with friends. As a result, your business is a much happier place to work.


(Photo: https://flic.kr/p/o4ZHuD)


Team Building Activities

Another way your business can become happier is to take a step back from the usual working routine. Following the same pattern, over and over again, can lead to stress. When workers are stressed, your office becomes a horrible place to work in. So, sometimes you have to break the mould and do something different to the norm. Take a break from your usual routine and do other things with your employees.

The best idea is to set aside days, throughout the year, where you don’t have a day’s work. Instead, you devote the day to team building activities. This is brilliant because it gives everyone a rest from their busy schedule, but can also benefit your business. If you’re doing team building activities, you’re working on improving how everyone works together. A better functioning team can lead to a much more successful business. It’s a much better option than just giving everyone a day off now and then; you’re getting something out of it.


These activities can be done in the office or somewhere else. You might find it a good idea to have half a day’s work followed by team building activities in the office. This saves you taking too many full days out of your work schedule. But, if you do want to have a full day off, I’d recommend you make things interesting. Think about leaving the office and doing some team bonding elsewhere. There are plenty of fun activities that are great to get your team closer together, and feeling happier. Things like paintball or white water rafting are fun activities that get people working as a team. Doing things like this will strengthen the bond between you and all your employees. As a result, your office will start to have a much better working environment.


(pixabay: https://goo.gl/W678uq)

Care For Your Employees

The simplest way to make your workplace happier is to care for your employees. Show them that you care for them, and they’ll feel a lot happier. It’s such a simple concept to follow. Think about it, you feel much happier when you know that there’s someone that cares about you. Whereas, when you don’t feel appreciated, or cared for, it can get you down. As the manager, it’s your job to care for your staff and show them that you do.

One of the best ways to care for your employees is to offer them support and assistance. There are employee assistance and support programmes that can help you do this. If you provide these programmes to your staff, it shows that you care. It shows you’re willing to pay to get them help and support if they’re feeling down or stressed out. Then, these assistance programmes can help them get back to their best, and feeling happier again.

As well as offering support programmes, you can also offer private support. If you feel like someone is unhappy, call them into your office and talk about it. Again, this shows that you care about your staff. People will see you take the time out to help out employees in need and they’ll like you for it. It will make them happier because they know that if they’re ever stressed out, they can come to you. The simple fact of the matter is that a workplace is better when the boss cares for their employees. If they don’t, the whole office becomes a dark and gloomy place to work. No one will smile and it will create a horrible atmosphere. When this happens, your business as a whole can suffer. Happy employees are crucial if you want to have a positive work environment in the office.


After reading this, you can now see how to make your business a more enjoyable place to work. Take advantage of social media and use it to get people communicating and interacting more. This leads to a much more social business. Use team building activities to bring everyone closer and strengthen their bond. And of course, care for your staff and it will put a smile on their faces.