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Sales isn't just about moving product. If that's all it was, we'd focus a lot more on price. Today, salespeople need to diagnose customers' business needs and create solutions that help improve customers' business performance, according to Rick Johnson in The Sales Force of the Future. Train your salespeople to find your customers' pain and make it go away – even if it has nothing to do with your product.
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In the past, salespeople were trained to know everything about the product. In today's environment, customers want more. They want solutions to all their problems.
They want efficiencies, market share and profit generation. And they want you to hear what they're not necessarily saying out loud. Train your salespeople to stop talking all the time and to listen more.
If your sales team can identify ways to address those broader needs and wants – whether it be through your products or partnering with noncompeting companies to provide additional services and products outside your expertise – you will strengthen the relationship and become a trusted partner rather than just a product seller.