4 reasons why reps get a bad rap - 4min read
Salespeople face the challenge of having to represent their brands and win the trust of customers while negative labels hang around their necks. Here’s 4 reasons why reps get a bad rap and how the right sales tool helps them to shake off these labels.
Whenever Anthony Iannarino, a B2B sales coach and consultant, asks students to describe the attributes that define a salesperson their replies usually include words like pushy, creepy, slimy, greedy, selfish, and aggressive. But these students, having likely only purchased clothing items, tech gadgets and possibly a car, haven’t had many interactions with field sales reps. Where do these negative connotations come from?
Stories from family members? Hollywood movies? Were their few encounters with salespeople really THAT bad? Or, could it be that we do often put our foot in it: we become so eager to close, we turn to slimy tactics?
It’s not easy being ‘the one’ representing a brand
Whatever the reasons, we often find ourselves out there selling with these labels hanging around us. Skynamo recognises that, apart from negative perceptions, it’s no easy task to be the one representing your brand and its products. In spite of there being so many of us, we feel alone, the only one, out there, facing the music on our own.
Below are 4 reasons we’ve identified why reps get a bad rap and how our mobile sales app helps eliminate these obstacles that prevent salespeople from representing their brands with confidence.
1. Building rapport isn't always so simple
Who is this person? Can I trust them? Are they here to help me or use me?
These are the first questions crossing a potential customer’s mind. Unless the way in which you engage with them convinces them otherwise, they’ll assume you can’t be trusted.
Sales reps face the challenge of having to win someone’s trust within minutes of first introducing themselves. Competition in the sales industry is fierce and often times very little distinguishes the reputation of one brand, product or service from another.
Building rapport with customers is a skill to develop over time. Frances Frei suggests taking the time to learn where trust wobbles in your interactions, and developing ready-made solutions to begin countering that. Read how Skynamo provides these solutions to users based on Frei’s Instant Trust Triangle.
‘Skynamo also helps our reps relate with customers on a more personal level. It all starts with something small, like greeting a customer by name. It’s a matter of respect which is so crucial to relationships - and business is all about relationships.’
Derryn Maclear, B2C Salesforce Development Manager.
2. Pitching comes more naturally than listening
It’s important to tell customers about your product’s or service’s great benefits. But how important is it really?
Too often, we approach customers with preconceptions of our own. We’re convinced we already understand their business better than they do. Being more eager to pitch than to listen and learn about their business, communicates to customers that selling to them - not the future success of their business - is your greatest concern. Learning to ask open-ended questions allows customers to do more talking and helps you build rapport and gain customers’ trust.
3. Using the wrong tools sabotage sales efforts
Many reps find themselves out in the field with their sales script as the only real tool at their disposal, not leaving them with much else than the pitch-at-all-costs-approach to fall back on.
Nearly 9 out of 10 reps interviewed in our UK sales survey identify a lack of proper sales tools as a major factor hindering a true understanding of their customers’ needs. Without the ability to capture and analyse customer needs, it’s difficult to provide them with the right sales solution. Learn how Skynamo’s mobile sales app helps reps capture accurate customer data.
4. ‘No’ is not an option
You have probably lied to close a deal. Two thirds of reps surveyed by us in the UK admit to having lied in order to close a deal. Nearly a quarter (24%) said they do this ‘always’ or ‘very often’. Most of these reps say they ‘would do whatever it takes to close a deal.’ Underlying this behaviour is the idea that ‘no’ is not a viable sales outcome.
Larry Kendall calls this the Depression Era Sales mentality. It involves the idea that there are a limited number of sales out there and closing one deal is as good as closing another. Little to no regard is shown to what happens beyond the sale. An immediate sale is considered more valuable than an ongoing relationship with a customer who may also develop into a business partner over time.
Skynamo believes that this mentality persists because of technology and data related issues. Reps are backed into a corner with little time, not enough information and are under pressure to hit targets. They’re willing to pursue bad business at all costs rather than focusing on high gain opportunities only. If you’re able to distinguish good fits from bad ones, a ‘no’ is as good an outcome as a ‘yes’.
BED Holdings’ CEO Mike Giltrow shares how Skynamo is more than an order-taking tool but plays a crucial role in assessing customers, providing valuable insights into future business opportunities:
‘Thanks to the information collected during customer visits, Skynamo helps identify business opportunities we might otherwise not have known about… Managers immediately have access to this information in Skynamo and are thus able to quickly act on new business opportunities. We’re immediately aware of customers’ future projects and requirements, which means we are able to uncover new business opportunities we would otherwise have missed.’
We get why reps get a bad rap…
…that’s why we’re changing the sales conversation.
Sales people are crucial to a business’ success. They are the point of contact between a business and its customers. Products and services stand or fall with them. People trust people before they trust things. People prefer working with people they trust before they work with anyone simply because they offer a good product.
Skynamo’s field sales app helps to shift the focus from selling-at-all-costs to business development, by changing the role of sales reps from mere order taker to trusted business consultant.
You shouldn’t simply take our word for it, see and hear what Skynamo users say.
Topics: Be a better rep