What can salespeople learn from Nike, Coca Cola and Apple?

Posted by James Pember on 11/1/16 8:00 AM

The Harvard Business Review (which by the way, is probably one of the only publications that consistently writes amazing content on sales - I do recommend subscribing) recently published an article entitled “The Best Salespeople Do What the Best Brands Do”, in which the author argued that the exact same traits that make the world’s most recognisable brands great - are also what makes the best salespeople stand out in the crowd. 

Great salespeople succeed in this new business environment by doing what great brands do.

So, what makes brands great, memorable and valuable? Why are Coca Cola, McDonalds, Nike, Audi and Rolex such recognisable brands? Why are customers so loyal to them, and what could salespeople learn from these brands and apply to their own craft.

Let’s dig in. According to the author of the article, Denise Lee Yohn, there are essentially 7 principles that great brands and great salespeople implement in order to succeed. 

Take a look through them and have a think about where you and/or your salespeople stack up: 

  1. Great brands start inside. Great salespeople sell inside first. 
  2. Great brands avoid selling products. Great salespeople cultivate emotional connections with customers.
  3. Great brands ignore trends. Great salespeople don’t imitate, they innovate. 
  4. Great brands don’t chase customers. Great salespeople attract the best customers for their company. 
  5. Great brands sweat the small stuff. Great salespeople create extraordinary experiences that embody their brand.
  6. Great brands never have to “give back.” Great salespeople create real value for their customers.
  7. Great brands commit and stay committed. Great salespeople impart the unique value of their brand.

Think about the brand marketing strategies of Apple, Nike and Coca Cola. All three brands sell a lifestyle, they sell an emotional connection. Not simply computers, running shoes and soda. Customers “feel” something when they buy products from the aforementioned brands. That builds customer loyalty, affinity, not to mention margins! 

The best salespeople should take this on board. Spend time building connections and less time convincing and you might find yourself with more deals, better deals and a stronger relationship with your customers.


Topics: sales, sales management, sales motivation, sales coaching, sales performance, sales goals

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