Are You a Sales Advisor or an Order-Taker?
By Jerry Pujals
As a sales
professional, you must strive to stay in control of every situation.
That is, you must guide your clients to the best decision and ensure
your clients know the advantages and disadvantages of every buying
decision. This is a practiced skill that those in the top 3% have
honed. The rest of the salespeople out there unknowingly relinquish
control over to their clients. As a result, they have poor results,
for both themselves and their clients.
about it: as a salesperson, you are trained in the specifics of what
you sell. You know how the industry works, you have experience with
your product or service, and you have access to information your
clients do not. So why let a client, who is not as knowledgeable as
you in this particular field, take the lead in the transaction? Doing
so is a recipe for disaster.
successful salespeople view themselves as advisors. The other 97%
think of themselves as order-takers. The client says, “I want this
and this and I want to do that.” And the salesperson says,
“Okay,” no matter what the request. Those who take on the advisor
role listen to what their client wants, and then they determine if
those requests make sense for the client. If they don’t, the advisor
offers alternatives, shows why those alternatives are necessary, and
confidently makes his or her case. The client, who senses the
salesperson’s knowledge and expertise, usually see that the original
requests were unreasonable or not to his or her advantage.
Developing the Advisor Mentality: Many salespeople claim to be
advisors, but really they are not. Sure, they may put titles on their
business cards, like “Sales Advisor,” but they still have an
order-taker mentality. Simply writing a title on your business card is
not enough. To truly believe you are an advisor, do the following:
1) Use Affirmations: Affirmations confirm your beliefs by ingraining
them into your subconscious. That’s why the first step to thinking
like an advisor rather than an order-taker is to tell yourself every
day, “I am an expert sales advisor. I advise my clients on the best
buying decisions to make.” But remember, simply saying the words is
not enough. You must truly believe them. Once you believe them, they
will become reality.
2) Know Your Information: The other part of the advisor mentality
involves the information you’re able to provide, because at some
point you’re going to have to prove your advisor status by actually
advising your client and giving reliable information. That’s why you
must know your information, but not rely
on it exclusively.
salespeople talk with a prospect, they over-prepare. They find every
fact and figure available to prove why their product or service is
superior and they overanalyze the data. As a result, they want to
impress their client with data rather than show the client what the
product or service can actually do to improve his or her life. The
client soon feels buried in data and tries to gain control of the
situation just to get out from under the information overload.
here is to realize that different personality styles exist. For
example, suppose the client you’re meeting is an engineer. By
nature, engineers are analytical and want to see data. They rely on
facts and figures in their day-to-day job, so offering them facts and
figures in your sales transaction makes sense. However, if you’re
meeting with a CEO of a major company, he or she is busy and likely
only wants bottom line information—just the end results of what he
or she will get. On the other hand, if your client is a psychologist,
he or she will likely want to know more about you and will want to
develop a relationship with you first before getting into the meat of
3) Be Adaptable: To be a successful advisor, you must be able to
recognize the different personality styles and be versatile in your
approach to each. You need to identify immediately whether you’re
dealing with an amiable kind of person who likes to take his or her
time, or if you’re dealing with a fast-paced, to-the-point kind of
person, because how you relate to each and the kind of information you
give each will be different.
So being a
good advisor is really about knowing how to read people, both in
person and over the phone. Then, it’s about adjusting your approach
to match the other person.
question to ask that will help you identify a person’s personality
is: “What are some of the things that are important to you and that
you need to know for us to work together?”
question will tell you more about people than anything else. Right
away an analytical type will say, “Before I buy I need to know the
exact specifications of the product, how it works, what warranties are
available, and any other data that’s pertinent.” However, a more
bottom line thinker would say, “I just want to know what results
this product will give me.” Do you see the difference in responses
and how each response reveals different information about the person?
most salespeople wing it when they’re meeting with clients. They
don’t adjust their information for their audience, and their results
show it. These same people always appear nervous, and they lack
confidence. As a result, their clients run the show, and all the
salesperson does is take orders.
want to get a better understanding of the different personality styles
you will encounter, and the best approach for dealing with each, read
books about the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator or the DiSC Personal
Profile System. Both of these assessment methods are great tools for
understanding people. Simply do a search online or visit your local
library for the information.
Become an Advisor Today: In the end, it’s up to you to take
control of every situation and guide your clients to better decisions.
Really get to know the kind of people you’re working with, and truly
believe you can help them with their needs. The more you view yourself
as a true advisor, know your information, and stay adaptable, the more
sales you’ll make, which ultimately benefits both you and your
Read other articles and learn more
about Jerry Pujals.
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