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Five FREE Ways to Stand Out From Other IT Salespeople

Estimated reading time: 2 mins

IT Sales is a tough job. IT buyers don’t suffer fools gladly, and they aren’t tricked by the usual methods employed by door-to-door vacuum cleaner salespeople. IT Sales has developed into an artform, so it’s vital you stand out from your bustling crowd.

Here are five FREE ways to do this:

  1. Call your prospects at agreed times – don’t call them out of the blue. Seems a trivial point but buyers don’t like harassment. Agree a time when you call, and then make sure you call at that time. Buyers need time to prepare for decisions, and if you call without notice then you’re likely to force a wrong decision that may be backtracked later.
  2. Sell with a story – don’t just say that another client bought your product, this means nothing to your prospect. Tell them a story . Say why your other client bought your product, i.e. what business problem your client had, why your solution was best for them, and what the result has been since they purchased. So many IT sales folks I meet don’t use this tactic!
  3. Sell to your client’s values – look around most client offices and you will see posters displaying the mantras of corporate values. Sell to these! Find an angle where your technology helps them stay true to their values. If you can’t find them on the wall, check their website, or ask!
  4. Sell with a Positive Mental Attitude – let’s face it, most IT buyers really don’t like sales people. That’s a harsh truth that has to be accepted. But don’t let that put you off. There’s a guy I know called Chris who is a great salesman because he always displays ‘PMA’. Every knock-down or objection is an opportunity to learn. He never takes it personally. I remember him because he wasn’t pushy, but he was confident that his product was right for my organization and stayed with us despite many rejections.
  5. Above all else, be nice, and be honest – it’s much easier to sell to friends, so be a friend. Ease into the sale, don’t push hard. Pushy salespeople lose sales! If you sell ‘you’ instead of selling product then the whole process will be less threatening to your prospect. By taking a relaxed, friendly approach you will win hearts, giving you the room to win the mind. Honesty is always the best policy, so if your product doesn’t solve the client’s problems then walk away. This is the best tactic of any salesperson I have observed. If you can be remembered for your personality and your tact then you’re much more likely to be invited in again should another opportunity arrive. This is hard to do in the moment, but do it anyway and you will use your time effectively and retain loads of grace with the prospect.


Here is an excellent short clip on how to create that winning sales presentation :

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Simon is a creative and passionate business leader dedicated to having fun in the pursuit of high performance and personal development. He is co-founder of Applied Change, a Business Change consultancy based in the UK. Simon is also an Ambassador for Gloucestershire business. Simon is an Associate Member of the Chartered Institute of Professional Development.

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7 Comments

  1. Mark McClure Coaching

    #3 is a good one – I cannot recall any Sales person EVER alluding to the values of any company I worked at. (Perhaps they were so good I was already put in a buying trance by that point haha!)

    One thing from a techies point of view. I have dealt with many WAN carriers as the technical lead and business point of contact. I didn’t make the buying decision but I did have an internal vote in recommending a preferred solution or supplier.

    Those Carrier Account Reps who had a Pre-Sales SE easily available by phone or email always made a much better impression on me than the ones who had to (or chose to..) escalate through 2 levels of command and multiple timezones before giving a reply to my questions.

    Aim to make life (a little) easier for your customer or prospect.

     
  2. Asif Shah

    @Mark : do you think it is better then to have SEs in your local sales region? Is this vey expensive though? I know what you mean about SEs who are remote though as you do not always get their points very well.

     
  3. simonstapleton

    @Mark – good point Mark because many of us have probably been let down by the latency caused by accessing knowledge from a supplier. Particularly when working in non-US regions!

     
  4. simonstapleton

    @Asif – I think it does mean extra cost for suppliers to have local SEs. This cost must be balanced by the extra potential sales by providing a better service doesn’t it? Ultimately, the vendors with the best product, service and sales process will be the ones that win out, yes?

     
  5. Mark McClure Coaching

    @Asif – In that case I meant SEs in the same business day time zone as me, the customer 🙂 It must’ve been embarrassing for the account rep to have to punt qs after qs with “I’ll have to get back to ya”… especially when his competitors brought their SE into the physical meeting room and others had tech folks on a bridge line as backup.

    My rule of thumb these days is:

    “If they treat us like that before we give them any money, what level of service are we going to get after payment?”

    Might sound a little harsh and I know that pre and post sales teams (and entire divisions) can be worlds apart in how they provide customer service. However, that old adage still applies – “first impressions count”!

    (I am really a softie at heart.)

     
  6. Asif Shah

    @Mark : i like your point Mark. I hadn’t thought about that. If we are treated badly before we give a supplier money then what can we expect afterwards. There is another side though, however we are traeted it needs to be with integrity, and not with sychophantic behavior. I hate that. Honesty is the best for me. If the best SEs are overseas then it is best for the supplier to use them

     
  7. Mark McClure Coaching

    @Asif – Yes , I hear you loud and clear re sycophantic behaviour. Never suffer fools gladly!

    Slightly OT but still relevant – it can be a good idea to keep in touch with account reps that you have worked with as a customer e.g. get them into your LinkedIn network.

    The good ones often have big contact lists and if you know them well, they may be able to introduce you to relevant folks on their list. Very, very useful if you are job searching in the current tough biz climate.

     

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