Interesting Analysis of Salespeople

The December issue of Harvard Business Review has an interesting article titled “Do You Really Know Who Your Best Salespeople Are?” that analyzes eight types of salespeople. A slide show of the main points from the article are on the HBR.org site.

The research included observation of 800 salespeople during sales calls. The research found that three types of sales people were most effective. Experts, Closers, and Consultants fared much better than Storytellers, Focusers, Narrators, Aggressors, and Socializers. It’s interesting but shouldn’t be all that surprising with a little reflection. Experts know products, applications, and customer needs best. Closers understand how to match customers desires to what they are selling best. And Consultants listen best. These are all characteristics that focus on customers rather than the salesperson. Focus on you rather than me. The other sales types are all focused on me: telling stories, regurgitating marketing spiel, making friends rather than providing value…

What characteristic do you find to be most important as a salesperson or as a customer?

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