Tag Archives: consumer confidence

Sales Confidence

Once upon a time, there was a sales person who should have been in a different line of work.  At a trade show, they were standing in the aisle and as prospects walked by would ask, “You wouldn’t be interested in buying a web site, would you?”

Every answer was a resounding “No!”

Business man and meeting table background

This sales person, and many others like them, lacked the confidence to be convincing in their introductory pitch.  That’s a sign of either poor training or the need to choose a different occupation.  It was later discovered that the sales representative had clients who had never been asked to pay for the work being done on their website.  More later.

A sales person must have a thorough knowledge of the product and/or services he/she is offering.  With the wisdom comes belief in the product or service’s ability to meet the needs of the consumer.  That implies the sales person also understands what those needs are and how the company they represent can fulfill those needs.

Other elements that generate confidence in a sales person:

Empathy – Merely rattling off a sales pitch to a prospective customer is likely to turn off the potential purchaser.  People, in general, do not like to be sold, so the sales person who fails to ask questions or show concern for the prospect is bound to be viewed as pushy.  Some will get the sale through persistence.  Without listening, though, the chances of that sale falling through increase exponentially.

Presentation – The empathetic sales rep presents information to the prospective customer in a manner that appeals to what they hear the prospect saying.  Yes, some elements of the presentation need to be canned and rehearsed so they come out of the rep’s mouth with confidence, but the knowledge of how the product or service can be of value to the consumer is more important.

Closing Skills – One of the primary reasons that sales people fail is they lack the confidence to ask for the money, and close the sale.  Part of this involves being sensitive to the prospect.  If you can sense that the person in front of you is ready to make the buy, ask for the sale.  If you’ve dealt with all the objections, make it official and get the consumer on the way to enjoying the product or service you’ve convinced them is worth purchasing.

Back to our website sales person:  It was obvious they were not cut out to be in sales, so she was let go.  A week or so later, she came back in and expressed her gratitude for being fired.  Why?  She said it was the best thing that ever happened to her because it made her realize she wasn’t cut out to be in sales.  She found a job in technical support, which made her happy.

Do your sales people have confidence in marketing your products and/or services?

Brand Your Work – Work Your Brand   




Your Competitive Advantage

Bigger, faster, smarter, and stronger can be advantages in competitive sports and in business.  Teamwork can give you the advantage necessary to win in both arenas.  The key to long-term success lies in knowing how you stack up against the competition, how you can stay ahead consistently, and what the competition is doing to catch you.

The current trend among consumers is to ask companies what differentiates them from their competitors.  What the customer is asking, in essence, is why they should buy from you instead of your competition.  The Internet and search engines have made consumers more aware of all the companies out there that can provide the product or service they are looking to purchase.

Your company must, therefore, have an easy-to-find presence on the world wide web and, more importantly, a well-defined statement of why your company, your product, and/or your service is different from and better than the competition.  These are essential tools for marketing your business today.  Without them, your advantage is that you are playing on a different field than your competitors and every other business, and probably without an audience.

An example:  Exceptional customer service is now an expectation and ruled out as a competitive edge.  It must be delivered consistently or your doors will close.  Consumers can, and will, find alternatives if they believe they have been mistreated or are dissatisfied. Gone are the days when a poorly treated customer simply goes away.  Social media can severely damage a company’s reputation if a negative impression goes viral, and today’s savvy consumer spends scads of time sending tweets and text messages.

We digress from the topic of your competitive advantage.  You need to know your competition.  What do they do that’s different from what your company does?  As you study the competition, avoid trying to emulate what they do and focus on what you could do better, more efficiently, or at less cost to the consumer.  If you try to match what the competition does, you can easily become your own competition.

When we worked with a company that built websites in the early days of the Internet, we could build them faster than any other company, with better graphics and greater functionality than the competition.  We knew how long it took our company to grasp those techniques and how long we could hold the advantage until a competitor figured it out and caught up to us.  Time, in that case, was our competitive advantage.

As you study the competition in your business or industry, and evaluate how well you compete, focus more on what got you to where you are and less on what your competition is doing.  Maintain that difference, for that is what gives you the edge and makes you palatable to the broad consumer market.