The «zombie» salesman has to be done away with….!

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ITC delivers sales and marketing strategies for SMEs.

Often when I am working with companies to solve their problems with sales, I come across a cast of salesmen with out-dated ideas, obstructionist attitudes, and totally resistant to change. These are the same ones that have a low or very low awareness of the overall picture and a really very limited understanding of the products or services they are supposed to be selling. However, they all have one thing in common: Without exception they are all masters of the excuse. Whether this be the current economic climate, the preponderance of competitors or the unfavourable conditions offered by the company they work for.

Those of you that follow my posts will know that I do not believe that this is only a problem of the salesmen alone, but this problem of attitude can, more often than not, be traced to the sales management strategy or, precisely, the lack of it. Nevertheless, the individual salesman can be a part of the solution.

Thus, I have identified two types of salesman and I have named their different attitudes to sales as the Zombie Salesmen and the Prized Salesmen.

The mindset of your typical zombie salesman is the one that has to be eradicated from the organisation. These traits will help you to recognise them:

  • Mistrust when faced with any and all change or improvement in the firm.
  • Pessimism is his middle name.
  • Unable to follow the strategic guidelines laid down by the company.
  • When considering sales they are unable to get beyond the immediate results and always take the short term vision of the task.
  • A lackadaisical stance and lethargic posture regarding sales.
  • Unable to adequately apply their technical know-how.
  • Complete ignorance of the specifics of each of their clients.
  • A worrying lack of knowledge regarding the competition.
  • Unable to come up with ideas nor to tailor them to the individual idiosyncrasies of each client.

The zombie salesman syndrome can be recognised as those salesmen who are only keyed up about their sales figures for today. Paradoxically, as they are only concentrating on closing the deal today, they put their cloth ears on when given information or sales techniques that would lift them to the next level. It is attitudes like these that have given salesmen a bad name; we should all grab hold of our inner zombie salesman and throw them into exile for ever and a day!

Starting right now, how should we go about transforming ourselves into a Prized Salesman.

  • Stop trying to sell and get a better understanding of your client and his needs. One of my teachers used to say: «It’s better to know than make known»
  • Effective communication of the Useful Proposition
  • Sound out the client to discover possible sales opportunities.
  • Manage the client list in function of the potential and not the current volume of sales.
  • Plan your sales strategies client by client and product by product.
  • Remember you are the weapons that will translate the marketing department’s plans to the various channels in accordance with the firm’s communication strategies.
  • Represent the company comprehensively and in all its dimensions.
  • Always adopt an open attitude and willingness to cooperate.

This approach to sales will enable us to concentrate on what is really important: our client and how we can help his business with our products and services. If we can master this we will be mastering how to sell in the long term with positive results on the bottom line.

The Prized Salesman doesn’t sell, he manages clients through sales!

See you soon!

Salvador Devant
Sales strategy consultant at ITC


An Anglo-German laboratory sets up commercial operations in Portugal thanks to a wide-ranging market study and search for a distributor carried out by ITC.

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International Team Consulting conducts studies and surveys that provide the key information needed to set up operations in target countries.

“We were extremely impressed by the level of professionalism of International Team Consulting and the way in which they understood our needs at all junctures of the project. Many thanks!” words from Toni Hubbard, Head of Market Analysis at Biomonde, when assessing his satisfaction with the study carried out by International Team Consulting.

The market study elaborated by International Team Consulting aided the Anglo-German laboratory, Biomonde, to access the key information necessary to set up operations in Portugal for their LDT treatment (Larval Debridement Therapy), a LARVAL treatment for serious open wounds.

The study was conducted using secondary search techniques and interviews with leading players in the Portuguese sanitary and wound treatment industry. Some of the information analysed includes interviews with key elements (sanitary institutions, users, patients, doctors, regulatory agencies, associations…) identification of certifying processes for pharmaceuticals in Portugal, methods of payment and other essential aspects that compose the workings and structure of the Portuguese sanitary field.

Another of the aims of the project was to identify and arrange meetings with at least 3 Portuguese distributors interested in working with the larval therapy. The laboratory has since confirmed that they are in a state of advance negotiations with one of the distributors to whom they were introduced. During the visit to meet the candidates, interviews were also arranged with leading opinion generators in the wound treatment sector including directors of associations and nursing staff and doctors specialising in serious wounds.

Júlia Farré
Managing Paartner – International Team Consulting

ITC puts a Spanish ICT company in contact with 5 French firms interested in distributing their Data Analysis Software. 

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As very experienced experts in international markets, we can advise you on all facets of your international business

“The work carried out by the Trade Development Consultants, ITC, was of the highest standard and fully complied with our expectations and the task entrusted to them. Furthermore, the contacts were of excellent quality and of great interest.” These are the words of Jesús Serrano, CEO of RCM Software, thanking us for the good work carried out by the team of professionals at International Team Consulting.

From the very start of this trade development project and as a result of exhaustive research and detailed analysis, we made initial contact with 80 French software integrators. On further screening 5 were short-listed as the most viable of them and those that showed the keenest interest in distributing the SW in French-speaking markets.

RCM Software is a Barcelona-based firm that develops and markets through distribution channels business management SW (business intelligence, ERP and document management).

At International Team Consulting we are constantly working to bring together those companies that wish to expand overseas and the ideal network of distributors, agents and/or representatives throughout Europe and the rest of the world.

Lucille Dubos

ITC brought together a number of Moroccan denim manufacturers and leading Spanish and European buyers from the clothing industry.

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Denim by Premier Vision, the professional denim-wear exhibition in Barcelona.

The team at International Team Consulting organised business meetings between Moroccan manufacturers of denim and leading agents, distributors and importers from the Spanish textile and clothing industries. The meetings took place in the framework of the professional denim-wear exhibition, Denim by Premier Vision, which was held on 21st and 22nd of May in Barcelona.

ITC won the international tender called by Maroc Export (The Moroccan Agency for Export Development) to organise the meetings in Barcelona. ITC arranged meeting with the majority of leading Spanish manufacturers and designers including: Bimba & Lola; Green Coast de ECI; Trucco; Mayoral; the Hip Tee; MiMarca; Blanco; Paz Torres; Oggy…etc.

The buyers were quick to spot the business opportunities that could be built up on the Spanish market by bringing into play all the novelties offered by Moroccan denim. These advantages were as equally applicable to the design of clothing and fashion-wear as they were to the production of accessories and complements for men, women and kids.

This was the first year that Denim by Premier Vision had been held in the Barcelona Fair Grounds, away from it’s traditional venue in Paris. The exhibition attracted 4,479 visitors for this 14th edition, which was 45% more than last May in Paris. Since starting up in 2007, the number of exhibitors has grown by 49% and the number of visitors by 59% which all goes to make it the exhibition of reference in the world of denim.