What makes market researchers great salespeople?
What makes a great market researcher? The ability to ask the right questions and find the best information to ensure success in the marketplace.
What makes a great salesperson? The ability to ask the right questions and successfully balance supply and demand, based on good information.
The similarities between the 2 professions are striking ! My question to you is: Why is it market researchers could be the best sales people, but perform as the worst ?
With such an effective skill set, are market researchers really making the most of their knowledge, experience and networks when it comes to sales?
Why is it that market researchers can encourage other people to talk about themselves but lack initiative when it comes to promoting their own business?
Recently, I spoke to Patrick, a highly respected moderator.
He has been working in the industry for years now. Besides moderating, he has developed a dialogue board tool for diary assignments. A respected agency hired him to introduce his tool for their business. There is also demand from Patrick’s other clients for the same solution. I asked Patrick why he hadn’t called other clients to promote his tool. What is the barrier to introducing another great service from Patrick, the researcher they already work with? He has developed a great concept, made a great promo video but lacks the sales drive to promote another aspect of his business.
How can we help Patrick generate new clients and promote his diary concept? Many people in the industry suffer from a lack of initiative when it comes to sales. Thankfully, there are great platforms like Research Heroes, where market researchers can promote all aspects of their business. Potential clients have the opportunity to find out more about what you do and engage the specific services you offer.
Our platform sells your service and skill set for you. You are free to focus on what you do best - being an expert market researcher: Someone who’s always asking the right questions!
I have always loved working with clients as a "partner" which means not inundating them with emails and phone calls but rather keeping top of mind, building a relationship and understand the clients "pain points." The challenge with the model is that you can't scale as fast as you might like. To answer the question of why can't market researchers be better salespeople... the commonality of being able to ask questions and probe about a client's business issues is legitimate. However for salespeople there is much more to it. More specifically, it includes a sales process that TONS of rejection which for about 99% of people is tough to deal with on daily basis.
There are two types of salesmen:
- Those who can sell without knowledge and data.
- Those who need knowledge and data to add value to the relationship.
Some of them are mere snake oil sellers, some of them bring real value to the table. Every successful salesperson has to know what he is selling. And that is research.
One you know that you hold the truth selling is a merciful act (something like that used to say my CEO, but I am afraid part of the effect is lost in the translation haha)
A pertinent question indeed! Market Researchers, if they are being 'true to to their salt', are required to be impersonal and independent of the subject they address. Yes, some researches are 'cleverly framed' to arrive at pre-meditated answers, to questions. However that is generally addressed, at a higher pay grade. As opposed to the researcher, the sales person usually has "an agenda to the questions". The information derived is required to be acted upon - close the sales! Simply put for the researcher, the answer of the question is the end; while for the salesperson, it is a means to an end!!!
Merik te Grotenhuis
Thank you Patrice for your interesting comment. Very often we do not tell what we aim for. How would it be if one of your important and respected suppliers would say: I like how we work together. What can I do to work with you more often?
Is not asking the right questions one of the best ways to do sales?
I believe many clients in the research industry do not perceive their agencies / research consultants as sales driven. Do they? In the land of the blind...
Understand how tough it can be to become a sales person when one has always been a partner with one's clients. I can't tell you how irritating it is to me when suppliers for the work I do email or call telling me they want to "partner" with me when honestly all they want to do is sell me their stuff. So how does one promote themselves without coming off as a "salesperson"?