Last Updated Sep 23, 2010 10:23 AM EDT
Sales gurus talk a lot about value propositions, but the "value" that's really important is the value that you bring into the customer relationship. That "value" is entirely dependent upon your values -- the way th...at you approach your job and how you treat the people around you. With that in mind, here are six values shared by the world's top sales professionals:
- Independence. Sure you've got an entire company behind you, but ultimately the only person you can really count on to get things done is yourself. Don't hesitate to do whatever it takes to move the sale forward, even if it means giving up your weekends.
- Courage. If a deal doesn't make sense, it's not worth pursuing. Don't let wishful thinking propel you into wasted effort. For example, if you can't meet with real decision-makers, you aren't going to get the business. Period. Move on, without regrets.
- Pride. Insist that every customer relationship is a relationship between equals. Adopt a policy of "Quid Pro Quo" - that anything a prospect (even a CEO) asks you to do gives you the right to ask them to do something comparable in return.
- Creativity. Prospects don't have the time to sit with down with cookie-cutter sales reps, but always have time for somebody who can redefine problems and devise solutions. When you can bring creativity to the table, you're invaluable.
- Confidence. Never take on an apologetic air, try to explain away your inexperience or beg for the business. Savvy customers can smell fear and will ask for steep discounts or even amuse themselves by making you jump through meaningless hoops.
- Honesty. Share your feelings with the prospect to move the sale forward. If you believe that the customer is making a mistake or buying the wrong offering, respectfully point out why you see the situation that way and then suggest alternatives.