News: Insight

Your reputation is key to future sales – don’t leave it to the rear view mirror

20 July 2018   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Adam Harding
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A salesperson’s reputation for being great to do business with is generally something customers glimpse in a rear view mirror. It’s the impression they have of you, after the transaction has taken place.

But Andrew Hough, the CEO of the Association of Professional Sales (APS), offers a solution to give customers the confidence that you are a trustworthy, professional salesperson, from your very first approach. 

As buyers travel along the highway of sales and commerce, they may spare a thought: “What a smooth transaction that was! That salesperson was really professional and helped me out. The solution we came up with is really going to add value to my business.” And then they drive on, and the glimpse is lost.

But being a positive image in one customer’s rear view mirror is not going to be much use to a salesperson when it comes to attracting future business.

Ideally, as the seller, you need to reassure future prospects that you are someone who is skilled and qualified, and committed to giving them a great buying experience.

Just as your customer would always make sure that their car was roadworthy, taxed, MOT’d and fully insured before they took it for a drive, they need a way to have confidence in advance that you, as a salesperson, have all the professional sales credentials they would hope for.

When it comes to the vital first meeting, when customers’ suspicions are high and they are debating whether you are someone they can do business with, they should be able to inspect your documents, reassuring themselves that you will work to the highest standards.

Now it is possible to show customers – and future employers – your professional sales credentials.

With the Association of Professional Sales, the world’s most recognised sales body with more than 50 global brands as members, you can be instantly recognised by displaying the APS logo on your business cards and letterheads. And you can show your MOT sales equivalent:

1 Your ethical selling knowledge: shown by having passed the exam to be entered on the APS professional register
2 Your customer certification: shown by being APS customer-certified
3 Your professional development: shown by being an APS certified professional
4 Your other qualifications: the APS has developed a growing number of government-recognised professional qualifications in sales, up to and including degree level.

The APS makes sure that its sales qualifications are not easy to get. Fail rates are built in to keep standards high. But just like drivers, many sellers who fail their test first time go on to become flawless practitioners.

Increasingly, customers are recognising that the APS logo is an assurance that they are dealing with a salesperson of the highest quality.

For instance, Craig Spencer the head of sales enablement at Neopost – the business communications specialists – has told us: “The support we get from the APS is second to none. We advertise our partnership with the APS as an integral part of the ethics we stand for. The impact has been huge. It’s part and parcel of what we do. It’s become the way of life for us.”

In a business environment obsessed with competing on price, the differentiating factor is very often you, the salesperson. As sales expert Paul Johnston writes in Valueology, his best-selling and meticulously researched book: “I have found through my research that people really do buy people.”

With the APS you can be recognised as one of the best. Please click here to apply to Jennie Harnaman, our head of membership services.

We look forward to being an integral part of your sales and commerce journey.

Andrew Hough
Association of Professional Sales