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The 32 Worst Things You Can Do in Sales:

27. Lacking a Unique Sales Identity

By Steven J. Schmidt (3/31/09)

I think we can all agree that sales people are truly special people. They are usually very unique individuals. They can be quiet, and remain in control of themselves and the entire sale. They can be loud, and dominate the sale because of their enthusiasm and excitement about their product or service. Whatever the uniqueness that a salesman has, they must have some type of quality that separates themselves from their competition.

Having a product that people want to buy right away is great, but how often do we sell something that everyone wants and can afford? As a salesman, you are not just selling the product or service. You are selling yourself, and the customer is buying the product or the service because of how amazing you make it sound. You are creating a need for them. Just because people want something, doesn't necessarily mean that they will buy it. Money might be tight, or they might be on some type of a budget.

To get the customers to commit to buying a product or service, YOU will have to put them over the top. They need to get to know who you are, so that they trust you and feel a connection, because that is how you will separate yourself from the rest of the fish in the pond.

I have been told over the years that my strengths happen to be my charm and persistence. Therefore, that is something that I use during the course of the sale. In addition to having a charm, I have always tried to be as up front with a customer as I possibly can be, because that is how I am as a person. In sales, being up front is the way to go. Consumers do not like to be told one thing, and then experience something completely different. When customers expect to get a certain benefit from the product or service they bought and they do not get it, they will be unhappy with the salesman and probably not use them again.

A few years ago, I made a sale in a commercial space for selling a large window cleaning and gutter cleaning job to an apartment complex. The property manager told me she was interested in an estimate. When I did that, I gave her a little presentation that she and the owner absolutely loved. I did not just giver her a price, which they both liked, but explained, "I understand the economy is tough, but yet you still want to get tenants in your building so that rents continue. By having your windows cleaned, that is a curb appeal, and cleaned gutters are a safety measure. We are willing to work with the current budget you have set aside for project like this, and do whatever it takes to get the job. We hope that you like our work, and that you will use us for your other apartment complexes."

She and the owner called us the following week and asked, "When can you start working for us?" Aside from being thrilled, it made me realize a key part of sales. People like to get to know who you are as a salesman. They want to know if they can trust you and if you'll be loyal to them. The best way to accomplish this is to give your customers a piece of who you are. Selling yourself is not just trying to make a sale; it's letting your client base know who you are and what separates you from the rest of the salespeople who are ONLY in it to make a sale and benefit themselves.

Showing who you are to your consumers shows that you want them to trust you, and that you will do everything in your power to please them and make their experience with you a happy one. By not showing your customers this, you risk the chance of not getting more clients than you could possibly imagine. I have known some great salespeople who have bounced around to different sales companies, but have kept all of their customers because they happened to be trustworthy and loyal to them.

Do not be afraid to show your customers who you are, and in return you can expect a much fatter paycheck!

More from The 32 Worst Things You Can Do in Sales

  1. Walking Away - 2/16/09
  2. Not Looking Customers in the Eye - 2/16/09
  3. Talking Too Much - 2/16/09
  4. Not Listening to Customers - 2/16/09
  5. Not Knowing Your Product - 2/16/09
  6. Not Being Organized - 2/16/09
  7. Getting Distracted - 2/16/09
  8. Selling Price Alone - 2/16/09
  9. Not Getting Proper Rest - 2/17/09
  10. Getting Flustered (Lack of Production) - 2/19/09
  11. Leaving Territory Too Quickly - 2/20/09
  12. Being Rude to Customers - 2/23/09
  13. Being Too Content - 2/24/09
  14. Maintaining Poor Hygiene - 2/26/09
  15. Pressuring Customers - 2/28/09
  16. Not Having Fun - 3/2/09
  17. Not Closing - 3/3/09
  18. Lacking a Powerful Introduction - 3/4/09
  19. Not Following Up With Customers - 3/6/09
  20. Not Having a Strong Mentality - 3/8/09
  21. Lacking Discipline - 3/10/09
  22. Not Handling Objections - 3/12/09
  23. Sounding Desperate - 3/14/09
  24. Having Poor Customer Service - 3/17/09
  25. Not Taking a Vacation - 3/21/09
  26. Misreading Customers - 3/27/09
  27. Lacking a Unique Sales Identity - 3/31/09
  28. Not Letting Yourself Be Known - 4/6/09
  29. Not Having Patience - 4/9/09
  30. Not Holding Yourself Accountable - 4/11/09
  31. Hitting on a Customer's Wife - 4/13/09
  32. Acting Like a Salesperson - 4/23/09
  33. Overview - 5/23/09

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