I keep seeing it happen, and in retrospect, it has been a common occurrence on sales floors since I began my sales leadership journey.
It’s not lying or manipulating salespeople.
It’s not pushy reps.
It’s not even seemingly useless products being pitched as the next miracle invention.
Check out the episode to hear what I think is the #1 nearly-universal factor affecting the effectiveness or sales reps and teams around the country.
E112 – Transcript
Hi and welcome to another episode of the sales experience podcast. My name is Jason Cutter and Welcome to Season Two. This is the second episode in the second season after taking a break, make sure to check out episode one of season two so it was episode 111 to catch up on what happened during the break and the goal of this season and my focus and what I have going on for this episode.
Before I dive into some guest episodes later on in this week, I wanted to take some time and talk about a trend that I have been noticing more so over the last few months of really focusing on clients, sales reps. what I see in the market conversations in general, other business leaders and the trend I’ve been seeing, and I’ve mentioned this a bit, is order-takers and there’s a lot of reps out there in the world, a lot of people with the title of sales rep or account executive or BDR SDR or you know, sales consultant, whatever that is, whatever you want to call it, at the fundamental root.
It’s somebody who is supposed to be operating like a salesperson, yet they’re not. And in my analysis and what I’ve noticed is that they’re actually acting more like order takers. Now, what is the difference when we talk about an order taker? What is an order taker? Well, an order taker is someone who may or may not be asking questions, may or may not give a customized sales pitch or presentation responds to questions or objections, but then waits for prospects to ask more to come up with more questions and objections.
I call this the death pause. When you answer a question, then you wait for essentially another punch to come from that prospect hitting you with either a question, basic inquiry all the way through a hard objection and something where it’s a deal breaker and they’re just going to keep pounding on that salesperson. Order takers also potentially is not necessarily in control of the conversation or the sales process, which goes back into not asking questions and then as well as not moving forward when responding to a question rejection.
They’re just waiting. They are not in control. The prospect is in control. Order takers generally are not diagnosing and then prescribing the solutions for the prospect. They’re presenting and then they’re waiting and that’s the final part is that order takers do not necessarily assume the sale and are not necessarily moving forward to the purchasing process with the information armed inside of them and the confidence to know that the prospect they’re speaking with, they’ve pre-qualified, they’re a good fit.
They’ve moved forward with their discovery, with their questions and then with their presentation or sales pitch or data collection, whatever that looks like. Again, B2C B2B doesn’t matter. It’s all the same trend. It’s the same personality and behavior of being an order taker and just getting information, collecting it, and then waiting for the prospect to want to buy and want to order whatever it is or sign up for whatever it is.
That order taker is essentially sitting and waiting. They’ve gone through their process, but they’re sitting in waiting now, why does this happen? In my experience and from what I found, order takers act like this because there’s a lack of confidence. There’s a lack of training. It could also be a lack of management involvement. They could literally have been a wrong hire so they shouldn’t have entered into a sales role. Somebody thought they could or maybe they were desperate in the hiring process and needed to fill seats, get butts in seats and then hopefully somebody would make it. Yeah, somebody went through training and air quotes. Graduated is now on the floor, on the phone or in the store and essentially is now an order taker who ended up in a sales role. Order takers can also happen like this because there’s a lack of goals and there’s a lack of big letters.
Why as far as what it is that drives that person, what they’re working towards, what is going to get them to be motivated and excited and push themselves for creating more. So creating more sales results, creating more outreach, moving those conversations forward because there’s a why behind them. They have their own goals and then there’s also a reason why somebody would want their product or service. So sometimes it’s a lack of confidence in themselves as a sales professional or a lack of confidence and understanding what is involved with the product or service that’s being sold, how it actually benefits people. And they don’t really believe in what they’re selling and they don’t think either it actually helps somebody or solves a problem or they don’t fully think that it’s necessary by a lot of people. And so they fundamentally don’t want to push their ways on somebody else.
They don’t want to push the sale on that prospect. And instead they want to allow and create the space where a prospect is going to come to them in the conversation and say, yes, I’d like to buy. Now let’s talk about is there anything wrong with being an order taker? They answer to that is that if it’s a transactional sale or a transactional process, the answer is no. If it’s a consultative sale, the answer is an absolute yes. There is 100% conflict when somebody is acting as an order taker, but in a consultative sales role, it will cause them to fail longterm and if you’re listening to this and you think maybe you’re an order taker or I wonder if I’m an order taker or if I’m struggling with this, you’ll know from your results. If you’re in a consultative sale process and you’re not getting the conversion that you either think you should be or your company is expecting you to have.
If you have struggles with getting your quota, hitting your quota regularly performing and breaking through your quota and actually creating results that are exceeding that from a metric standpoint or a financial standpoint, whatever that looks like in your role. If you’re having trouble with that, then it’s most likely that you’re an order taker. Now what can you do with that information? Why does it matter? How can you change who you are or how you act in that sales process? If you’re at the point where you are an order taker and you’ve identified that so you’ve gone through, you’ve listened to lists, I went through and you go, Oh my gosh, that’s me. I’m acting more like an order taker than a sales person. Somewhere on the scale from zero to a hundred a hundred being most amazing natural born sales person ever on the planet, zero being absolutely no sales skills or desire and you know order takers are going to fall somewhere in that range.
It’s not that you can’t be effective, it’s just currently your not. And I firmly believe that if you have the goal to be successful at something and you put in the effort and the hard work and you have the drive and you know how to maximize your strengths and you’re very self aware of who you are, what those strengths are and some of your weaknesses, and then you push yourself along with having some accountability and some management help and some coaching, then it is possible to get you to actually be a really successful salesperson. So this isn’t about trying to tell you that if you’re an order taker you need to quit, go find a different job. It’s about using what you’ve got, using your strengths and then switching from order taker to a salesperson who is successful and meeting quota and achieving the goals that you have.
So a couple of ways here for you to make that shift. The first one is to understand maybe some why’s behind the fact that you’re an order taker. Is it a lack of confidence in your skills? If so, get some training. Read some books on your own YouTube university as much as you want your watch YouTube videos, you can listen to podcasts like this great podcast as well as anything else. There’s a ton of sales podcast to help you based on your style, your personality, what you’re selling. Is it B2B, it’s a B to C or do you need to be more aggressive?
Do you need any more this that. There’s a podcast for everybody. There’s YouTube, there’s coaches, there’s trainers, there’s books for everyone. So part of it is working on that confidence and then getting help from your organization. If it’s confidence and knowledge of what you’re selling, then do some training.
Get some education and spend some time with different people at your company to find out more about your product or service. Who helps, what it can do for those people, how it makes a difference for them. Either solving a problem or getting them to a better place or just making them happy, whatever it is that you’re selling. So you want to know more about that. And then you want to make sure that you have some goals because those goals will set kind of the framework and your focus every day, every week, month, quarter on what you want to go for and you have to have it attached to a why. So goal is great. You say, I want to make you know, $8,000 this month. Okay, why? Because making the money itself is not enough. It’s not important. I covered this in season one where I talked about having a why, creating a vision board, having some reasons why you get out of bed.
That’s not just money because money is great, but it’s mostly a vehicle. Yes. It’s a scorecard to tell you how you’re doing internally. It’s a terrible scorecard for comparing to other people because there will always be somebody with more with different and so you want to use that as a scorecard for yourself, but it’s just a vehicle. It’s just a way to get the things that you want or achieve your goals or make the impact in your own life, whether it’s traveling or buying a house or moving to a different place, or getting a new car, going on vacation, setting yourself up financially longterm, having some security, not worrying paycheck to paycheck, but what you’re going to do, you know, having that buffer, starting a family, whatever it is. You have to have a why and I have to as a really strong way of saying it.
I’m going to say it again. You have to have a why that goes with your goals for what you want to accomplish because otherwise, the first time you run into any resistance in life, in your sales role, talking to prospects, you’re thinking about pushing for the sale. They say, no, you’re going to wither away unless you have a big why pushing you. That’s setting your goals and then your goals are setting your actions and then your actions are what’s pushing you every single day. And if you’re having those conversations, you believe in what you’re selling, that’s going to help you make this shift to a sales professional and bust out of this order taker mold that you might be stuck in. And again, I think it’s possible for anybody to make that shift away from an order taker into a sales professional if they have the desire and the goals and the reason why.
Plus willing to put in the effort and it’s effort in training knowledge. And then like I said, also feedback. So working with your manager, working with somebody else who’s going to hold you accountable and give you feedback and then you’ve got to take that feedback in and make those changes. So remember, order taker, it’s not a bad thing if you make this shift. It is a career killer. If you’re in sales and operating as an order taker, especially if it’s a consultative sale, the kind of personality that is a more of an order taker, more of a customer service is better in those service roles. That’s where he wants somebody who’s not necessarily a pushy salesperson. Because if a pushy sales person or somebody is driven by those results or wants to persuade people into buying, then that person in a customer service role would be terrible and order-taker in a sales role could potentially be terrible.
You just make those changes. So hopefully that helps. Hopefully you understand a little more, and again, this is what I’m seeing so much in the market. If this applies to you, please understand and take this with the place that I have it in my heart, where I want you to change and I’d love for you to make a difference and hopefully this helps you kind of understand it, see it, and maybe that applies to you. If you have any questions about this, please feel free to find me on LinkedIn. Send me a connection request, send me a message, let’s jump on a call. I’ll help you in any way I can. We’ll do a discovery call. I can give you some tips. We can talk about it. I love just talking about sales. If you’re a manager or a business owner and you have a company and a sales team where you think this is what’s causing the lack of results.
You think, and I’ll tell you, this applies to most sales teams. Your sales team isn’t hitting the numbers and the goals that you need and something is missing and you can’t quite tell because it seems like they should be successful. It might be because of this concept. They might be order takers or there might be some on your team. Please give me a call or you can go to cutter consulting group.com go on there, go to the contact page, send me a contact form or send me an email or my phone numbers on there. You can call me. Let’s jump on a call. Let’s have some time together where I can help figure out if maybe that’s what it is. Give you some tips, some ideas, some solutions for what you can do. Short term, and then maybe it’s something I can help with the consulting side. That’s it for this episode. Please make sure to subscribe if able – rate the show, give it a review if that’s possible.
All of that helps. I appreciate it. I love it, and as always, keep in mind that everything in life is sales and people remember the experience you gave them.