The Order Taker vs. The Sales Leader

The order taker collects orders.
The sales leader develops accounts.

The order taker reacts to problems when they arise.
The sales leaders prevents problems in the first place.

The order taker responds to their customers only when prodded.
The sales leader is proactive with their customers continuously.

The order taker waits for the phone call.
The sales leader makes the phone call (and sends the email, and the birthday card, and drops in for dinner, and connects buyers with interesting people …)

The order taker runs away from problems or tough conversations.
The sales leader ferrets out problems and always comes with solutions (even if it means losing a placement of an important brand).

The order taker asks for meetings.
The sales leader structures presentations.

In summary:

The order taker is in it for themselves. They are the most selfish of the sales force, usually proven by blaming others for any problems (i.e. “I didn’t know the buyer changed at that account because they never told me.” or “I know you’ve been charged too much on that wine for almost a year but the pricing was never set up in the system by my predecessor.”).

The sales leader is in it for their customers, knowing that building and developing relationships, and honestly communicating key information, will pay back in the form of emotional annuities, dedication, and loyalty (not just a paycheck).

Related Articles