Are You An Order Taker or an Order Maker?

Filed Under (OP Sales Training) by Don on 11-03-2009

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It’s been two weeks since you last visited the customer whose office you are about to enter.  If I were to ask you, “Why are you here?” you will most likely answer “because I’m here and it’s been two weeks.”  Huh?  So you’re telling me you really have no purpose being there except to perhaps get an order?  Most likely it’s because you’re comfortable seeing this person(s) and you have developed a habit of merely visiting every two weeks, or however often you normally just “drop by”.

That is just pitiful.  You have just squandered your most valuable asset – time.  Your Sales Time is the portion of your week when you interact with your customers and prospects.  There are no do-overs in selling time!  Selling time only accounts for about 25% of your work week.  The rest of this time is spent traveling, preparing reports, researching and preparing for the end results of your work week.  How you invest your time is one of the most important decisions that a sales person makes.

Who do you see and what should you do?  Don’t let your good customer relationship be a crutch for the excuse of just visiting in the hopes of getting an order.  Only a medicore saleperson will use this rationale for this behavior.  The purpose of every sales call is to show value and a reason for being there.  Your selling time is valuable and your customers time should be respected. Think about why you are voing to see your customer and ask yourself questions like:

Is this the best use of my time?

Should I be seeing these people this frequently?

What specifically will I present to this customer to justify my time and theirs and will it demonstrate value and build trust?

Who should I see, what should I do?

I had a sales rep once who used to visit some customers every week and others every two weeks.  When I asked him why, he said it was because he was in the area and he was sure that was what they wanted.  For the next several weeks I made him ask every customer how often they wanted him to physically come to their office and much to his surprise the answer was once every four to six weeks.  With all these newly identified free time what is a rep to do!? 

Order makers will actively use all their selling skills and product knowledge to seek out new product placements and increase customer awareness of products and services.  They will identify new business potential, vertical market penetration and continue to increase their knowledge and skills to best serve their customers and prospects.  Make a wise decision as to how you will invest your sales time and quit being an order taker and become and Order Maker!

The last word: “There is a very real relationship, both quantitatively and qualitatively, between what you contribute and what you get out of this world.” -Oscar Hammerstein

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