Guest Post by Lestraundra Alfred
Question for you — what makes someone a good seller? Is it their ability to prospect, how they can deliver a sales pitch, or being a master at the upsell?
All of these traits and more can make you a better salesperson. When it comes to professional development for salespeople it can also be helpful to discuss traits that can hinder your growth, which is what we are discussing today.
One way salespeople can strive to be more effective sellers is to avoid falling into the trap of being an order taker.
What is an order taker?
In sales, an order taker is someone who addresses customer inquiries (also known as orders) but does not proactively engage in activities that would increase sales, such as finding new prospects or upselling to existing customers.
Now you may be wondering, what’s so bad about being an order taker? Ultimately it depends on your role, and where you want to take it.
For example, those who work in retail environments can approach their sales role as more of an order taker. In this role, the salesperson is not responsible for generating new leads — they are responsible for giving the customers who do approach their business a positive experience to land the sale. Ultimately in this scenario, the customer is driving the conversation.
On the other hand, if you work in B2B sales or real estate, being an order taker may not be the approach you want to take. If you are comfortable sitting back and hoping all of your customers magically find you and are ready to buy on the spot then go for it. But in the real world, especially in today’s business environment where competition is stiff and most buyers are somewhere between 57 to 90% through their decision-making process before they engage with sales reps, chances are you don’t have time to sit back and take orders.
Sales professionals who are able to remain effective despite market fluctuations and other challenges are often considered order getters or makers because they create orders and opportunities by taking initiative to facilitate the sales process.
Order Taker vs. Order Getter
If you want to be an order getter instead of an order taker, consider implementing these tips.
1. Be intentional with your prospecting efforts.
As we mentioned earlier, order takers wait for customer requests to come to them before taking action. Order getters actively generate new business opportunities to increase sales.
If you want to be an order getter, intentional prospecting needs to be a priority. Here are some inbound prospecting techniques that can support your selling efforts:
- Outreach — Sending emails to warm leads that were generated in collaboration with your marketing team. The recipients of outreach emails should have expressed some prior interest in your company or offer.
- Social selling — Using social media networks to build a relationship with individuals who have previously expressed interest in your company or product. For example, this could mean sending a direct message to a prospect who has commented on a recent social media post about your product.
- Research for personalization — If the prospect already has a contact record in your CRM, your research process is much simpler. You can see when they began interacting with your company, and what prior engagements have been made. This information is useful when crafting a personal message.
Again, most prospects are over halfway through their decision-making process when they begin engaging with sales. By taking the initiative to reach out to those who are already considering your product, you have a better chance of moving the sale to a positive result instead of waiting for the customer to come to that conclusion on their own.
2. Focus on customer relationship building to influence the sale.
Genuine relationships are currency, especially in the world of sales. Order takers rely on the customer to make buying decisions on their own. Order getters get to know their customers and help influence their buying decision.
When going for the sale, most of your effort should be spent building trust with your potential buyer. By focusing on relationship selling, you are adding value from the beginning of the sales process. This creates a positive selling environment to help you make the initial sale and leave a lasting impression on your customer, making them more likely to continue working with you if you have offerings that continue to meet their needs.
3. Keep your customers coming back for more.
The ability to retain current customers is an important aspect of being an order getter. Remember, the goal of an order getter is to regularly generate deals for their sales organization. Order getters who work for companies that have a range of offerings are well-versed in upselling, ensuring all of their customer’s needs are taken care of.
Additionally, happy current customers are essential for keeping a steady stream of referrals. Having customers willing to refer their network to you is a powerful way to generate new business, as 84% of buyers begin their sales process with a referral.
If your goal is to be a high-performing seller and order getter, make sure you are asking your satisfied customers to refer you to other interested contacts on a regular basis. According to research conducted by Marc Wayshak, 47% of top-performing salespeople make it a point to ask for referrals consistently, compared to 26% of salespeople who are not top performers.
Being an effective salesperson who generates new business for their company’s bottom line requires working smarter and being proactive. Check out this post for proactive sales strategies you can implement today.
Guest Post by Lestraundra Alfred