Be a partner not a salesperson is more than words. I’ve been involved in sales since 1970, and I’ve witnessed an evolution which is becoming a revolution. My first formal sales training was how to convince others to buy, how to use words and demonstrations to evoke emotions to get a “yes.” There was little or nothing about fulfilling customer needs, listening to prospect’s wants, or doing what was best for the consumer. It was about selling products and services—as simple as that.

For 20 years, little changed. The only difference was the training became more scientific, professionally presented, and accessible. The psychology behind convincing others to do what you wanted them to do became the norm in sales training.

Be a Partner Not a Salesperson

Then came social media, and suddenly, it no longer was enough to talk “at” prospects. It was a conversation, and the buying public had a forum to share their likes and dislikes. The game changed; it became less of a game. I’m not saying some organizations and salespeople didn’t do their best to help their customers in the past. It just wasn’t the priority for most businesses. We’re now seeing a revolution in sales. It’s time to get on board or be left behind. Be a partner.

What Does a Partner Do?

Ask Questions — Listen to and learn your customer’s needs; it’s not about you.

Fulfill Needs — What will help your customer? How can you help them be more efficient, cost-effective, greener, or?

Fix Problems — Where does it hurt? Not where you want it to hurt because you have a product or service for that, but what problems do your customers actually have?

Put the Customer First — This means not selling what they don’t need. It means offering what’s best for them.

Ask For the Order — Not in a salesy, pushy way, but if you’ve done all the above and have your customer’s best interest at heart, you owe it to them to secure the order. If not, someone less caring or less qualified may get the contract.

Are You a Partner or a Salesperson?

Are you more concerned about using the best closing question or determining your customer’s needs? If you’re stuck in “old school” sales, you will soon be passed by. Viva la revolution.

How Can I Help You?  

I like to help people and organizations, but I have three criteria I consider before taking an assignment – I believe in what the organization stands for, I know I can help, and it looks like fun. If you have any questions, Contact Me. 

So, does your business have a management training plan? Because if not, many organizations, large and small, use my book The New Sales Managers Workbook

Are You in Sales Management?

Are you leading people or managing projects? Do you set goals based on activities to continue, eliminate, or improve or do you strictly look at the results? Do you believe one sales strategy fits all your clients and all your sales team? If so, you’re walking the streets I paved, and those streets lead to disappointment. The good news is if you recognize these behaviors in yourself, you can change. I did. I eventually became a highly effective sales manager and so can you. This workbook is the place to start. The New Sales Managers Workbook

If you enjoyed this post you might like The Customer is NOT Always Right

Photo by Christina @ on