Several years ago I wrote up my definition of what I thought an ideal salesman would be like. When I wrote this, I had in my mind mental images of people I remembered who had been there when I made big purchases… new-to-me cars, new windows for the house, even a new house itself. I’ve been sold to, and I’ve been “sold to.” This is my definition of who I want to buy from, and hopefully, who I am setting out to be myself:

The Ideal Salesman, by me.

The ideal salesman is one who, in the end, allows the customer to walk away thinking and knowing they just got a deal on a great product. The salesperson’s job is not to hype the product or service but to show how it can meet the needs of the customer.

He should also be able to perceive deeper questions and intents than those initially verbalized, and be willing to dive deeper to discover them. He should be able to both answer questions about his product and also know when to get answers to questions he can’t address on his own. He doesn’t need to know everything, but should know who or where to go when he doesn’t.

He should know both the benefits and the limitations of what he’s selling, as well as how flexible his company is to accomodating or customizing the product.

He should be confident yet patient.

He should do all he can to walk into an appointment with some fore-knowledge of the prospect.

When it comes time to make a decision and the prospect knows all they need to, he should step away and give them the appropriate space and time, yet still be able to offer a legitimate incentive or drawback that makes making a decision NOW important.

The end result of a meeting with the ideal salesman is a happy customer who walks away KNOWING they just got a great deal on something they really need, and can’t wait to tell their friends all about it.