January 24th, 2012
“Are You Selling or Taking Orders?”
Sales are vital to every business, but it is easy to confuse selling with order taking. Are you actively participating in the sales process or are you simply processing sales transactions – taking orders from predisposed buyers?
Taking orders is as simple as giving the customer what they ask for at a price they find agreeable. When times are good, order-takers’ sales can come in as fast as your salesmen can write them up, but when times are tough these order-taker sales dry up.
Order-takers don’t take the time to discover the problem their client is having, so order-takers can’t evaluate the best solution for that problem. Order-takers leave money on the table. Order-takers fail to develop meaningful long term relationships that translate into repeat business and referrals.
Good, successful selling is different from mere order-taking. Successful selling takes self-confidence that comes from having the aptitude to prepare well, the power to focus, the ability to differentiate your products’ features and benefits from the competition, the capability to price appropriately to earn a fair profit and the skill to leave no money behind on the kitchen table.
Good salesmanship based on a confident foundation should be the normal routine. Order-taking should be avoided in order to achieve better success over the long term. Good sales habits need to be practiced consistently to maximize the potential of your business – no matter whether the economy is good or bad.
When sales are slumping it’s always smart to take an honest assessment of sales techniques to determine if you’re practicing good salesmanship or just out there taking orders. If you’ve gotten into the bad habit of just taking orders or if you never learned good salesmanship, it’s never too late to realize that order-taking is different than selling and there is no time like the present to learn and practice good salesmanship.
I hope to see you back here soon, reading my next blog entry, “Selling is Easy.” Until then, I hope you enjoy good relationships with your clients by practicing good salesmanship!