Praise the Buyer to Break the Sales Rep Mold

BY Jessica Helinski
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Stereotypes of salespeople are typically not very flattering. Even though sales strategies have shifted from the olden days, many still hold the image of a “snake oil salesman." But, you have the power to dismantle these stereotypes. In a recent blog post for People First Productivity Solutions, Deb Calvert encourages reps to “obliterate” industry stereotypes. “You aren't bound by sales stereotypes,” she points out. “You can choose different behaviors.”

Calvert shares three actions that reps can take that will be a welcome surprise to others. While they may seem like odd behaviors for a salesperson, these actions offer clients and prospects what they really want from reps:

  • Offer praise. Praising others takes no extra effort or special skill, and yet it has a major impact. You immediately make a connection with the buyer and it differentiates you from other vendors.
  • Recognize contributions. Similar to offering praise, noting how buyers contribute to causes and projects will create a connection. This action will require some thought and research. Calvert offers a tip, writing, “Use pre-​call planning to find out about the causes they support….read the LinkedIn recommendations your buyer has given others.” Doing so will give you insight into what they value and support, which you can commend them for during your next communication.
  • Spotlight accomplishments. Boost morale by pointing out how the buyer has contributed to the sale. Did a gatekeeper help you through to the decision-​maker? “That's an opportunity for recognition and celebration that boosts morale and productivity,” Calvert writes. “When you get involved this way, you are something more than a vendor.”

Step away from those stereotypes by incorporating these actions into your interactions with prospects. You’ll create a deeper connection with the buyer and stand apart from competitors. Plus, you will help reshape others’ perceptions of salespeople, which helps the industry thrive." It's refreshing and builds rapport and trust when you do things differently," Calvert notes. "Human-​to-​human connections form when real people simply have conversations."