“You’ve described the work of a salesperson as probing and connecting. Probing for the customer’s pain and connecting it to our product or service?” I asked, not waiting for an answer. “So, a sale that requires more than order taking likely requires a higher level of complexity?”
Marlena nodded. “We used to think we could hire anyone, give them a list of features and benefits to recite to the customer and that would be sufficient.”
“And?” I asked.
“And, sometimes they would get lucky, but our hit ratio was less than stellar,” Marlena explained. “We finally stumbled on a salesperson that was closing ninety percent. Her process was simple. In a screening phone call, she identified the customer’s pain.”
“Let me stop you there,” I interrupted. “At that point, what was the decision?”
Marlena paused. “More than one decision. Was the customer’s pain something we could solve? Was the pain strong enough to prompt the customer to take action? Would the customer see enough value in our solution to pay the price we needed to make it a win-win?”
“So, when I ask you the question, what’s the work of a salesperson, what are the problems to be solved and what are the decisions to be made, you now have a much clearer idea?”