General Question

Just_Justine's avatar

Which salesperson would you expect to succeed out of these two types?

Asked by Just_Justine (6486points) March 24th, 2010

What makes a great service or sales consultant? And why is this type of person not doing so well?

Sales consultant (A)

Very personable, attractive, and well presented. Slightly conservative in outlook, however enjoys a joke now and then. Very analytical, works long hours studying sales material in order to be ahead of the game. Plans “sales days” with clever ideas and visits clients once a week. But has earned nothing in nearly nine months. Prefers to sit alone in an office as opposed to sit with other consultants.

Sales consultant (B)

Has what one would call a “dynamic” personality, charismatic, delivers but does not work long hours, nor spends time preparing long marketing calls. Considers service important, but does so on demand. Meaning reacts to client needs as they arise. Has earned very highly over nine months.

Why is person B doing better than person A? This seems to be a trend in the office, however I have grouped the people into A, and B type. So what do you think makes a great sales person?

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24 Answers

john65pennington's avatar

You nailed it with B person. people who sit on their duff are definetely not going anywhere. their salary proves this. B it is.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

I worked in sales for 20 years. Ha! Perhaps that’s what led to my mental illness!

I can tell you beyond the shadow of a doubt that the sales person who succeeds is the one who finds the customer’s need and shows how his product will solve that need.

In your scenario, person B must somehow be doing that.

fireside's avatar

it certainly depends on the industry or service that the person is selling.

Some clients need hand holding and continuous contact in order to feel comfortable. Other types of clients will react to the type of person who acts as though they are too busy to meet constantly but can always deliver the required feedback or service when needed.

Coloma's avatar

I definetly fall under person ‘B’‘s cloak. lol

I don’t know..I think charismatic, humorous, enthusiastic but not schmoozing and insincere is where it’s at.

I am also a proponent of not working harder but working smarter, go with the flow, reduce unecessary stress, eliminate the petty, mundane details when at all possible.

I think some people just emanate more likability, sincerity, a gift for making others feel attended to. Conservative can become stuffy and offputting.

I think it is all about intuiting the individual and working within that sphere without squelching your own unique skills.

john65pennington's avatar

2nd Answer. people in sales should be a people person. have the attitude that you could sell a rock to a caveman. i was in sales, as a kid. i had two jobs. one as a shirt salesman in a popular shirt shop, the other selling ice cream. big difference in the two, huh? the point being, i was successful at both. i love people and getting to know their personalities was a big hit for me. like, making a person want to buy two popsicles from me, instead of one. eat one now and have one later. bottomline its just BS and every salesperson know this.

CMaz's avatar

The key word is “delivers”.

Everything else is just a game plan.

Coloma's avatar

Well…it’s not about being able to sell ice to an IS about combining sincerity with a ‘product’ you truly believe in, otherwise it’s all a big duplicitious lie, not how I want to utilize my strengths.

Having the mindset that what you are offering is truly of value and helpful in whatever realm it is needed.

john65pennington's avatar

Coloma, good answer.

Coloma's avatar


Yes, believe me, I have walked away from plenty of duplicitious conduct over the years..I’m the sort that would rather starve than be party to murky ethics. lol

davidbetterman's avatar

Salespeople do not sell products. They sell themselves. Once that is accomplished, you can sell anything to anyone.

Trillian's avatar

@Just_Justine You had the question right in the bold, then confused the terms in the paragraph. Great and successful are not synonymous. If there is a climate where the leadership gives the promotions to the “yes” men, they are the ones who are going to be successful. At least in the short term. This type of climate generated discontent and resentment. Good salespeople who see that type being rewarded have a tendency to leave and take their expertise where they will be better appreciated, and eventually there is a drop off of sales and customer satisfaction.
This eventually gets the attention of upper management who will, in turn, find a more effective middle manager.

Cruiser's avatar

Knowing in advance and responding to your customers needs will always nail the sale and bring repeat business. Salesperson B has obviously mastered that dynamic of the sales process.

john65pennington's avatar

Coloma, good girl. stay that way.

Just_Justine's avatar

@Trillian You have a valid point, in terms of in house expectation. However, if sales produce profit, and consultants are earning money, the successful people are therefore considered profitable. The people they are generating profit from are the clients. There are two issues really. Clients buy our product (and people). So pay our salaries. A person who is dedicated and learned as in person A. is a valuable asset internally. But not externally. In this instant it is external buy in that counts. Also in this set up there is no room for promotion, and yes men don’t exist. In a way upper management and middle management are “yes” men to the highest producing consultants, their most valued asset.

Just_Justine's avatar

@Trillian I hope I read your answer correctly? as I would hate to miss any important points you have offered

Ron_C's avatar

I am in Field Service, not really sales. Sales without service do not build lasting relationships. The best sales come when you know a customer well enough to anticipate his needs. They taught us that in marketing class but it’s instinctive in the best salesman. Working long hours is not productive, If you look at it on an hourly basis, sales guy B is the most successful. A has potential but needs to stop focusing on his needs and looking closer at what the customer needs. By the way what the customer wants is not always what he needs. I have talked guys out of expensive buys when minor fixes where what he needed. That technique might not work for a used car salesman but is just necessary if you want a long term customer. I like deals where we both win.

phillis's avatar

As a customer, I WANT someone reacting to my complaints, and do NOT want long-winded sales pitches. Additionally, spending the time hitting the books is fantastic, but customer interaction with a can-do attitude wins me over in an instant.

As an employer, a salaried person does not need to kill themselves to please me. All I want are happy customers and lots of them. If you can do that working three hours a day, then great! Get out of the office and go enjoy your life. A happy employee is a joy to have around. Person B gets my vote.

Ron_C's avatar

good answer philis!

phillis's avatar

@Ron_C Thank you! I hate demanding bosses.

Ron_C's avatar

I try to keep my boss at least 100 miles from where I’m working. That way neither of us is distracted and neither one is upset. I tend to do reports only when the project is finished. The only bosses that demanded to be involved didn’t last long in the company. I like it that way. Even when I was in the military, the only time I saw my boss was during monthly meetings of if there was a real crisis. Those were few and far between.

Exhausted's avatar

I think it’s personality. It seems to me that people who are very outgoing and sociable seem to do well in sales. People that tend to avoid others, are mechanical and serious minded, make sales a “job” and not an opportunity. People who seem to be able to read others, understand their needs and provide that for them, making them feel special and taken care of, thrive in the sales market without appearing to work hard at it. Being knowledgable of your product, knowing the statistics and being able to rattle off all the “facts” about what you are selling, is not near as impressive as someone that pays attention to what you want/need and provides that for you without a lot of effort on their part. Being able to loosen up and put others at ease makes getting your “foot in the door” or your product in their space, much eaiser.

Coloma's avatar

Yes, everyone has a ‘natural’ propensity for something.

I am often told that I am ’ in a league of my own’...lolol

I’m taking that as a compliment! haha

j0ey's avatar

If A comes across as over prepared, and a bit plastic, a customer wont trust them as much…It might seem like they are trying to play the “hard sell” game. Also, I find that people (especially women when its another woman) are not that warm to attractive people when they are not sexually attracted to them (competition maybe).

B on the other hand, being more laid back, relaxed and less prepared will come across as more sincere. The customer wont get their “hes trying the hard sell on me” guard up..and B will lull them into a false sense of security with their charisma.

I would personally prefer to buy from B.

LittleLemon's avatar

I would rather work with Person A, and buy from Person B. If that makes any sense. Might just be because I see a lot of “me” in Person A, and came from a mother that taught me the job wasn’t finished until my hands were bleeding. This isn’t however, a healthy thing, and I am the worst salesman in the world, so. :S

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