I went to the Global Sales Science Conference in Finland and one of the speakers sells cruise ships, each costing about $500M, and in a good year they sell about three.
He was taking us through how much it costs and how many people it involves at any stage. At the point when you are down to the last two bidders, you might well spend a £1M just bidding for the order and then, if you lose, you have some fairly heavy explaining to do.
Conversely, another speaker ran a camera sales centre and that was a much more straightforward operation, in a competitive market place, high volume and relatively low value orders but the two speakers exist in entirely different worlds.
I would say the camera seller is still in the present phase of what Richard Barrett, author and creator of the New Leadership Paradigm, says is an evolution while the ship seller has moved further on towards the Conscienceness Age. For him he really does need the full set of consultation and relationship skills.
The shared values and shared visions are things that you can adopt no matter what level of selling you are at, relations are clearly important because you don’t want to be going out prospecting for new clients all the time, social responsibility and customer collaboration is a fundamental part of selling.
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