Everyone is different and every sales person is different, but Annie taught me what it is that really makes a difference. “Be genuine and sincerely interested in what your client is doing. Only then will you have earned the right to be chosen,” she told me. “And, contrary to what many people would have you believe, price is not always the most important factor in closing a sale.”

A lesson from a Dutchman

“About ten years ago I was on the verge of selling a big application to a Dutch client,” Annie said. “We had been working on it for a year and had a great solution to the problem the client was struggling with. I was proud of our efforts, but at the same time it was nerve-racking waiting to find out whether we’d land the order. The purchaser said to me: ‘Your competitor also made us a great offer, so why would I choose you? Well, because I think you deserve it.’ That got me thinking: why do we deserve to get the contract and not a competitor who might also make good machines?"

You have to deserve an order – Ludo Tuyaerts, Senior Sales Engineer GEA Belgium

Universal

“I’ve worked in the Dutch market for the past 22 years or so and the experience has been a hugely valuable one for me,” Annie told me. “The Dutch way of doing business is different from ours – and the products are also different because of the different eating culture, but I’ve never forgotten what that man said. It’s a universal truth: you have to deserve an order.” Thank you, Annie, for everything you’ve taught me and your colleagues.

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