Reps: Are You Using Vulnerability to Boost Sales?

by | 3 minute read

What makes a good sales­per­son? In his arti­cle, “Vul­ner­a­bil­i­ty: The Best Gift you can Give your Cus­tomers,” Jay Feitlinger describes a good leader/salesperson as hon­est, even if that means show­ing vul­ner­a­bil­i­ty to clients. In fact, that’s the best way to reveal your­self as a real per­son to your clients, instead of com­ing across as some sales-dri­ven machine. Feitlinger also pro­vides some advice on how to give your clients, “the gift of vul­ner­a­bil­i­ty,” and prove your­self as a good sales­per­son:

1.     Be Real

The nature of sales­peo­ple tends to make us want to present our­selves as if noth­ing ever goes wrong. Every­one, includ­ing clients, knows that is not true. Things don’t go as planned from time to time and what dif­fer­en­ti­ates good sales­peo­ple is their abil­i­ty to take respon­si­bil­i­ty when prob­lems occur. Being a good sales­per­son isn’t deter­mined by how quick­ly you can sweep a prob­lem under the rug and pre­tend it nev­er hap­pened. In fact, the proof that you have the qual­i­ties of a good sales­per­son is shown the most in times of cri­sis. These qual­i­ties include the abil­i­ty to look straight at a prob­lem and focus on fix­ing it rather than attempt­ing to con­ceal it. Clients will appre­ci­ate you more if you admit you’ve learned from a prob­lem or mis­take and show you are bet­ter equipped to pre­vent it from hap­pen­ing again. You are human. Accept it and show it.

2.     Be Con­fi­dent

This is the tricky part. When com­mu­ni­cat­ing that a prob­lem has arisen to your clients, you can’t approach them with fear, doubt or unneed­ed infor­ma­tion. To main­tain your client’s faith in you, remain con­fi­dent while you are being hon­est. Be pre­cise when talk­ing to your client about a prob­lem. Tell them what they need to know. The client doesn’t need every gory detail about what went wrong, they just need to see you are being upfront and trust­wor­thy. Con­fi­dence is also cru­cial in reas­sur­ing your clients that you have an effec­tive solu­tion. Trans­paren­cy builds trust and trust is the back­bone of a thriv­ing busi­ness rela­tion­ship.

3.     Be a Friend

Like a leader,  good sales­peo­ple need to inter­act with and work togeth­er with their clients. These tac­tics show that you con­sid­er clients to be more than just the next sale you have to close. Spend­ing time on their account shows you view them as busi­ness part­ners, as equals, and that you real­ize invest­ing in them is as impor­tant to your suc­cess as it is to theirs. So, keep in con­tact with your clients. Don’t just be avail­able to them, get to know them and befriend them as well. Clients are more like­ly to do busi­ness again with a friend than with some ran­dom sales­per­son.

Rachel Cagle

Rachel Cagle

Rachel is a Research Ana­lyst, spe­cial­iz­ing in audi­ence intel­li­gence, at Sales­Fu­el. She also helps to main­tain the major accounts and co-op intel­li­gence data­bas­es. As the hold­er of a Bach­e­lors degree in Eng­lish from The Ohio State Uni­ver­si­ty, Rachel helps the rest of the Sales­Fu­el team with their writ­ing needs.