The Modern Salesperson

Everyone is talking about how the modern salesperson has moved on from the 1990’s dinosaur. The customer is in control, over 65% along the buying cycle and despises salespeople, preferring to buy on their own using the internet.

Much of it is true so how can modern salespeople distinguish themselves.

A couple of years’ ago I climbed Mount Snowdon with my family for charity. Not an amazing charitable event, after all, it’s not Mount Everest but a significant journey for us.

The organiser of our charitable group hired a guide, a local lady who knew the Pig Trail like the back of her hand and would take us up safely and securely. Did we need a guide? I’m not sure; the path is labelled and waymarked, I had a compass and the latest Ordnance Survey map. I am also an accomplished walker with proper walking boots.

We needed the guide because the mountain can be unpredictable during spring from clear blue skies to fog bound in minutes. Its also quite treacherous in places, people have died walking up the mountain. Our guide was there for us when we needed her. She didn’t get in the way, just helped us to the top and took no glory when we arrived there.

The parallel is salespeople and their customers. Your customer needs to take a journey – a sales or buying process – you’re required to guide them there not dominate or take all the glory, but to casually facilitate the passage ensuring the customer owns the experience.

That’s modern selling

Not Mount Everest, boy it felt good to get to the top, and then I noticed the railway line that would’ve got me to the top with little or no sweat, but it was worth it. Maybe the railway line is a metaphor for sales automation and automated intelligence, but perhaps that’s a story for another time.