The Sales Recruiting Blog

The 3 Types of Salespeople

Three types of salespeople

All salespeople can be grouped into one of three categories:

  • The Commodity Salesperson
  • The Price Salesperson
  • The Solution Value Salesperson

The Commodity Salesperson

The Commodity Salesperson sells things which have features.  This salesperson lacks in these key areas:

  • Fails to understand the problems of their prospects
  • Fails to make their company unique
  • Is an order taker rather than a true solution provider
  • Commodity salespeople are easy to find and the need is decreasing as businesses are ordering via the internet, saving valuable time and money. In addition, companies do not have to pay sales commissions. 
  • And, finally, a commodity salesperson’s commissions generally do not increase because they have not learned the techniques of cross-selling and up-selling to a prospect, thereby losing valuable sales

The Price Salesperson

The Price Salesperson really sells on having the best price … and if they do not have the lowest price, they will drop their price in order to get the sale.  The price salesperson has these major flaws:

  • They do not truly understand that the best prospects actually want the best value, not the lowest price
  • They do not have enough confidence in themselves or their company, so the only way to win a sale is to offer the lowest price
  • They really do not understand that sometimes when a prospect says “your price is too high,” the prospect is giving them an objection to see how the salesperson will react
  • Again, there will be little demand for the price salesperson in the future business world. Companies need to have profitable margins to reach their corporate goals and selling low price does not meet these objectives.

The Solution Value Salesperson

The Solution Value Salesperson  is truly unique and probably represents only 10-20% of all salespeople.  Solution salespeople do not sell things or commodities – but they sell customized solutions to their prospects – realizing that every sale is really a solution to a problem. The solution salesperson also has these general characteristics:

  • Excels in the probing portion of a sales presentation, concentrating on finding problems that the prospect may have
  • Is very comfortable selling a service, realizing that is where the future growth is and that the commissions are generally higher than for selling most products
  • Realizes that by providing customized solutions, the prospect ends up buying vs. having the salesperson close the sale

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Sales recruiting expert and author, Jack Scherer helps business leaders drive new sales via our unique Sales Assessment Test and Custom Sales Playbooks. You can read Jack's sales books here, or hire him for sales seminars and workshops.

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