Marketing whiz Seth Godin offers a great blogpost today on “Nine things marketers ought to know about salespeople.” Most of his points apply equally to bosses, so if you as a business owner are having trouble understanding why your sales people do the things they do, this post could change your life.
Seth’s 9 points, condensed:
1. Selling is hard. Harder than you may ever realize. So, if I seem stressed, cut me some slack.
2. Selling is personal. When I make a promise, I have to keep it.
3. I can't tell you when the sale will close. No one knows, especially the prospect.
4. I love selling great stuff, well marketed. Don't ask me to sell lousy stuff.
5. I'm extremely focused on the reward half of the equation. So don't change the rules in the middle.
6. I have no earthly idea what really works. I'll keep experimenting if you will.
7. Your job is to make it so I never need to make a cold call.
8. Once in a while, I actually learn something in the field. Ask!
9. I know you'd like to get rid of me and just take orders on the web. But that's always going to be the low-hanging fruit. The game-changing sales, at least for now, come from real people interacting with real people.
I would have added one more point: 10. I'm a people person. I don't relate well to processes and reports. Tie me down with forms and procedures and you reduce my abilty to make magic. If you don't believe me, ask your bookkeeper to make a sales call.
Seth’s full post is well worth reading, and contains two extra points not summarized here. (I have to give you some reason to click on Seth’s story.)