2 min read

Be an order maker, not an order taker

Eight proactive steps for sales people and how not to get fooled with last looks

Are you an order taker or an order maker? It depends on whether you are more reactive or proactive in your sales approach.

Here are eight simple rules to becoming more of a proactive sales person as opposed to reactive.

1. Proactive salespeople create opportunities; reactive salespeople wait for customers to offer an opportunity.

2. Proactive salespeople anticipate and act in advance; reactive salespeople wait and see.

3. Proactive salespeople are selective in the business they pursue; reactive salespeople must take whatever business comes their way.

4. Proactive salespeople run their territories; reactive salespeople let their territories run them.

5. Proactive salespeople take new ideas to customers; reactive salespeople wait for customers to ask for new ideas.

6. Proactive salespeople preempt price objections with value added; reactive salespeople wait for price to become an issue.

7. Proactive salespeople study on their own; reactive salespeople wait for their companies to provide training.

8. Proactive salespeople invest in the tools of their trade that will help them succeed; reactive salespeople wait for their companies to supply these tools for them.

If you want to become an order maker, you must become more proactive in your sales approach. Being proactive means doing all those things that will make you successful without your boss telling you to do them.

Last look is fool’s gold

Lo’ the number of times over the years I’ve heard from salespeople: “I’m hoping to get last look.” For the uninitiated, this means the buyer will show you everyone else’s prices and give you the opportunity to lower your price. What a deal!

Is this really the best you can hope to achieve with a customer? If so, it’s not much. Think through this “privilege.” The underlying premise of this approach is that you have more to give. The buyer who says, “I’ll give you last look” is really saying: “You and I both know that you have something left to give up, but we’ll play a game and I’ll use the competition’s price to drive down your price.” The salesperson who asks the buyer for the “privilege” of last look is really saying, “I haven’t given you the cheapest price I can, and I’m holding out until the last minute, so let’s dance for a while.”

The buyer who shows you others’ prices is unethical and not to be trusted. It’s a sure bet that this same buyer is showing your price to your competitors. Is this the foundation on which you want to build your business? I hope not.

Buyers will continue to play these games as long as salespeople participate. The next time the buyer promises you last look say, “Why do I need last look when I give you my best deal to begin with?” Then, you will help stop the madness.

Tom Reilly is the author of Value-Added Selling and Customer Service is more than a department: It’s an attitude! Reilly is also a professional speaker and you may reach him through his Web site: www.TomReillyTraining.com.