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Wednesday, December 19th, 2018

What IT Buyers Want From Tech Salespeople

February 12, 2009 Written by 

From 5/5/08 ComputerWorld...
IT buyers talk about what makes a good salesperson.

Not surprisingly, the most-desired characteristics are honesty and the ability to listen to what buyers want. Buyers want the straight story on all fronts: about the capabilities and limitations of a product, about future products, and about a salesperson's own level of knowledge.

Indeed, IT buyers say they tend to be skeptical of salespeople who seem to know it all. "My perfect salesperson is someone that doesn't pretend to have all the answers," says Craig Urizzola, CIO at Saladino's. He says he'd prefer that a salesperson say he doesn't have the answer to a question rather than give an inaccurate or incomplete answer.

Urizzola thinks highly of vendors who turn overselling on its head and help customers realize they may not need as much firepower as they're asking for. An example: His company requested an ERP module that his software provider insisted he didn't need. "They eventually proved to me that I didn't need it," he says, noting that his respect for the vendor grew because of the incident.

With IT departments under constant pressure to show returns on IT investments, buyers say they want salespeople who understand their business. "I want someone to be a true partner," says Larry Pritchard, CIO at Schaeffler Group North America. "That means someone who understands my business's peaks and valleys and has a feel for the challenges."

Buyers want good communication but not overkill. Katie Goodbaudy, technical support specialist at Airgas Nor Pac, says she loves one of her salespeople because she's a great communicator. "She even lets me know when she's going on vacation in case I need anything, and she doesn't call me unnecessarily to see if I need to buy anything."

Joshua Koppel, assistant director of IT at the Chicago Department of Revenue, says his dream salesperson is "someone who understands our business processes and has a handle on the tech side of things, someone who is friendly, honest and willing to listen." But, he says, like everything else in life, you can't have everything: "Usually I get three out of five."

Read 3977 times Last modified on Monday, 30 April 2012 12:35
Gary Zander

Gary is President of Project One.

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