Uncommon sense, involving the application of that knowledge, is what keeps you there and what ultimately makes the sale for you. Common sense generally includes all of the following:

  • Product / service knowledge
  • Customer knowledge
  • Competitor knowledge
  • Changes to the customer’s business environment (and the knowledge thereof)
  • Other products and services which may help a customer (not necessarily your own)
  • Customer product / service issues they have, but may not be aware of
  • Any other information which should be researched before the sales call

With the right combination of these, decision makers at a target company have excellent reasons to meet with you, so they can learn how you can help them. If you do not first use common sense, the chance to demonstrate any uncommon sense will never present itself. Still, however much helpful knowledge you may have though, it is generally uncommon sense which will result in the sale being made, or not. This can take any of the following forms:

  • Novel applications of your product / service
  • Understanding your customers’ needs better than competitors do
  • Better relationships with your customers
  • Being able to solve problems not directly related to the sale
  • Recognizing when the competition is not a good fit for a potential customer
  • Being able to adjust to situations on-the-fly, as new information is learned
  • Fixing any problems which arise after the sale has “closed”

In other words, superior common sense is more thorough knowledge, and is obtained by proper research and doing your homework before a sales opportunity. Uncommon sense then enables you to prevail in winning the sales opportunity, through using that knowledge to providing sales service which is superior to what your competitors could provide. A lack of either common or uncommon sense will unnecessarily sabotage otherwise excellent sales opportunities, so do not neglect either. While developing both these forms of sense takes effort, the good news is that the more effort a sale requires, the less likely it is that a customer will replace your efforts with a simple order taker, or competitor who competes purely on the basis of lowest price available. This ensures that your efforts yield a form of competitive advantage which is difficult to overcome easily, and which is sustainable.