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I was giving a sales and negotiation masterclass at Hult International Business School.
Well, one of the students asked me:
“Professor, will there be a need for sales professionals, 20 or 30 years from now?”
What a great question!
Hi, my name is Ramez Helou, I’m the founder and keynote speaker at The Academy for Sales Excellence.
Where I simply speak at events and conferences to simply educate, inspire, and motivate sales teams to sell more, faster and profitably.
Well, that’s a great question, and my answer to him was:
“Well, you will not need to have sales professionals if your product or service is, what I call a “me too product or service”.
Meaning if there is no differentiation, if someone can go online and search and find the one item, one article, one ingredient with zero differentiation. Well of course, they’re going to choose the cheapest.
And you really don’t need to spend lots of money and time having representatives go out there and market and sell that product.
However, as we know today that we live in a very fast paced world, and technological advancement are really, really quick and fast.
And the availability of information to the buyer is definitely high.
So, how are we able or how are you able, if you are selling chemicals, or you’re selling food items, ingredients, and so forth and so on, or technological, or even IT services and solutions.
How are you able to add value to the customer?
Really is what the customer is going to be paying for at the end.
It’s no longer going to be the product or service.
However, it’s going to be what your product or service is able to do for the customer.
So, how to start adding value?
Do this one thing, and you’d be on your way to differentiating yourself from your competitors and making it happen.
So, what you want to look for is what I call your “trends”.
You’ve got to understand the various trends and forces acting upon a customer inside of a market.
So I’ll give you a story.
One of the trends we know in the GCC market, within the food service industry is there is more and more people eating out because they want to indulge.
That’s what they do.
Many of them are working professionals, and they don’t have much time to cook and so forth and so on.
Plus it is a worldwide trend.
Now we do know today that if you are in the food service industry and you have an outlet.
You’re faced with lots of heavy, heavy competition.
So I was with one other sales professional, and at the end of the visit when he met the purchasing director and taken from him certain forms.
He gave him the price list and they said, okay, waiting for the order to come.
At the end of the visit, I simply asked that director, I said:
“Mr. Customer, just a small question, given the current trends being that there is more people or more outlets coming into the market, there’s heavier competition. What is your company doing to differentiate your outlets so that you attract more customers? You retain your existing customers? And possibly even raised your average spent?
He looked at me, he goes:
“Well, you know that I, you know, I’m in the purchasing. That’s a great question for the marketing team”.
And then I asked him, I said, well, I asked the rep, I said:
“Are you talking with the marketing team?”
I asked him:
“Is it okay if you can make an introduction through the representative and talk with them to find ways to work together, to add value to your business?”
“No, that would be great because we’re always looking for such ideas”
The ability to ask such questions only came by identifying a trend, looking at consequences, and then thinking of opportunities.
So, the trend being more competitors coming in, more people eating out, there’s a demand for eating out.
The consequences if I am an outlet and I don’t change and evolve, I am missing out on certain opportunities.
So, the opportunities have differentiated me, helped me retain my customers, help me grow my customer base.
If you do this one thing, you’ll be on your way to making things happen.
This has been an element of what we call at The Academy for Sales Excellence, “the sales engine.”
So, watch out for more of these videos that come with the other elements, to ignite your business in the direction to help you sell more, sell faster and profitably.
Until next time.