In sales there are order takers and order makers.
Order takers are reactive. They listen and respond to customers requests. They respond to RFP’s. They give the customer what they ask for.
Order takers sell in the now. They focus on what can bought today. Most sales people are this way. Order takers don’t realize they are order takers. They see themselves as being responsive to the customer – they defend their selling style by using the customer. They say it’s what the customer wants – it’s what the customer is asking for. The problem with this is, they are not comfortable pushing the customer, or making the customer uncomfortable.
Order takers don’t like to disrupt the apple cart. Order takers are insecure. Fear is a constant theme. They operate from what the customer wants. Despite this, order takers are very good at what they do; taking orders. They are an advocate for the customer and what the customer demands. Order takers are controlled by the customer. The customer drives order takers. Where the customer goes, the order taker is not far behind with their order pad.
Order makers are remarkably different. They aren’t focused on what the customer asks. They focus on what the customer needs.
Order makers are comfortable making their customers uncomfortable. They are secure. Order makers are proactive. They are not driven by the products in their bag or requests by the customer. Order makers have conversations. They engage customers in business discussions regardless of a solution or product. Order makers measure themselves not only by quota but by customer ROI and business impact.
Order makers sell 6 to 9 months in advance. They are looking down the road. Order makers aren’t controlled by the customer. Order makers control the customer. Order makers are driven by data, by the market, by the industry, by their customers strategic goals. Order makers are invaluable to product and the rest of the business, as they provide visibility to where their customers are going, not where they are. Order makers are provocative. Order makers don’t have order pads, they know they have the sale long before the customer is ready to order.
There is a big difference between an order taker and an order maker. Order makers are indispensable to their customers and to their company.
Order takers take orders and when the orders dry up . . . you hope you have an order maker.