It doesn’t make you less of an engineer because the client asked to see an engineer, yet you are one; it makes you more of a salesperson when you oblige. But I’m an engineer, not a salesperson you indignantly respond. Yes. But, remember you are selling

So what! So what if the buyer tells you, “I want to speak to an engineer, not a sales person.” And yet you are an engineer. But because you are on the shop floor, he doesn’t see you as one despite your insistence to the contrary. Why do you make it skin off your nose, yet it’s not? If the buyer wants to see an engineer and there’s one on site, by all means connect them.

Today, I want to address technical sales people. These could be engineers, biologists, architects, even accountants who are in a sales function. Selling is both science (technical ) and art. And humility is the engine that powers successful selling.  Unchecked, your ‘technical’ ego can impede your capacity to sell.  It doesn’t make you less of an engineer because the client asked to see an engineer; it makes you more of a salesperson when you oblige. But I’m an engineer, not a salesperson you indignantly respond. Yes. But you are selling. In this function, the challenge you have is to skillfully juggle your scientific (engineering) cap and artist (selling) cap as the need demands. Getting offended over a perceived attack on your (technical) ego may preserve the ego but lose you the sale.

False sense of superiority

Technical salespeople can tend to see themselves with a false sense of superiority. Some even tell me that referring to them as salespeople is insulting. “We are not like ‘insurance agents’”, they say. And yet there is no mention of sales in insurance agent, is there? Yet, the agent is clear on which side his bread is buttered. That’s not the point though.  The point is that scientists in a sales function must continually have a heightened sense of self-awareness that their professional knowledge could easily get in the way of a sale.

Information overload

Besides the perceived ego attack, the other way they trip themselves is in the overkill in information such scientists tend to share believing that the more information they give, the more they are selling. Thinking intellectually, they rationalise thus: “Once I tell him all about our product superiority he’ll buy.”  So, they demonstrate their heightened knowledge in pump functionality showing how the 3 horsepower motor, powers the impeller radial dials, through the power input to the shaft coupled with the volute of the centrifugal pump, found in the cross section of the liquid path. (For any engineers reading this, I’ve just made that up for demonstration purposes, so don’t get your knickers in a twist over it).

Anyway, as you are busy impressing the client with your scientific knowledge, the salesperson is busy expressing to the client that the pump will easily last him a decade, is powerful enough to pump water three floors high and typically fills up a 1,500 litre tank in under an hour. The seller says just enough to close the sale and appeals to emotion by making it easy for the buyer to understand. Who do you think gets the sale?


Check out our short courses and other services here. If you would like to have your sales team sell more, we can help. In order for us to do so we propose a free consultation meeting or a call. If in agreement please complete the form below and we will get in touch after receiving your details, none of which will be public. Thank you.

Views – 348

About Author

Related posts

Boost sales: see salespeople as points of contact not those that sell

Dear employer, especially this December, remember that the salesperson isn’t one who merely sells the product or service. That’s an archaic way of defining the profession. The world has dramatically moved from the days when the only source of digital information for Kenyans was VoK. The 21st C prospects have become wiser and the market

Read More

Why most people quit sales is as simple as it’s not. Here’s why

The percentage of sales people that quit must be highest for any profession. Put differently, the profession with the highest turnover is Sales. And there’s reason why most people quit Sales. It is difficult to see a compelling tomorrow when you cannot raise your eyes away from a trying today. This is the predicament that those

Read More

Avoid showing desperation when selling. Here’s why

Are you reeking of desperation? Can the buyer smell desperation hanging in the air like the stench from your sweaty armpits? Well, this could be why you are losing sales. You’ve let how the desperate state of the economy is affecting you, consume you. In addition to increased inflation, if you are on a salary,

Read More
Stay ahead in a rapidly changing world with Lend Me Your Ears. It’s Free! Most sales newsletters offer tips on “What” to do. But, rarely do they provide insight on exactly “How” to do it. Without the “How” newsletters are a waste of time.