Succeeding in a sales career: What big billers do differently

salesSucceeding in sales is as easy as falling off a log. If the log is located in the lobby of your best prospect and if falling off of it gets you the attention you need to make a sale. Successful salespeople make it look easy; the truth is, the most successful salespeople work really, really hard to get there. And the best of the best work smart, as well. Big Billers know that making a sale isn’t about sales at all; it’s about knowing what your customer needs and providing the appropriate solution when it’s needed.

Big Billers listen. Big Billers identify the reasons people buy, and strive to understand how the customer’s situation aligns. Effective communication during a sale is so important that, without it, nothing else matters and no sale will be made. Big Billers ask the customer as many questions as they answer, digging in to find out as much as possible about the inner workings of the client’s organization. How do things tick over there? And how will my product fit into that system?

Big Billers follow up. Consistently, appropriately. When a Big Biller says, “Let me get back to you on that,” that is a promise. Big Billers keep promises. All of them. If I don’t trust you, I can’t possibly buy from you.

Big Billers take “no” for an answer. Not every product is the right solution for every customer all of the time. Listening for clues and cues helps the BB know what solutions are appropriate and when. The customer who says No after a good conversation will be happy to answer the BB’s next question, “Is there anyone else I should be talking to?” A No now might be a yes later on. Wait for it.

Big Billers are generous. Willingly collecting commissions is only one aspect of life as a BB. Another, equally important aspect is generosity. BBs willingly network, share insights and ideas and lend a hand when asked. They ask, “Is there anything else I can do for you today?” BBs pay it forward, and that always pays off.

Big Billers operate on a personal level. Persistent, professional, yes. But for the BB, every relationship is personal; helping others isn’t a job, it’s a lifestyle. Would you have lunch or dinner with your customer, even if you didn’t have to? Would your customer want to have dinner with you? If not, why not? Like a good buddy, BBs get to know and care about their customers; they’ve spent time and energy learning about who these people are, what they do and what their challenges are in the workplace. That investment is something customers recognize and appreciate, and it often spills over into mutual respect, and, sometimes, friendship.

Julie Desmond is IT and Software Recruiting Manager with George Konik Associates, Inc. in Minneapolis. Send your resume and career questions to Julie at

October 6, 2014
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