The fine art of selling: Space /Dreams /Products...

The Glib Talker Era

Finesse and glib talking has for long been the trade mark of a salesman. To the layman, a great salesman is someone who can talk his way through meetings, sell the product he has and come out with a confirmed sale. This has been the model in existence for quite a long time.

Times have changed- the client/customer no longer takes a decision based on how well you present. Your product matters, your after sales service matters, your standing in the industry matters, your realtionship with him matters, you matter- in short everything about you matters! So how do you make yourself (applicable for companies also) matter? how do you better yourself in what you are doing? what factors will help you be a better sales man??? Here is an attempt to analyse the issues!


Consistency in service:

Consistency in service is an attribute that every customer looks for. Be it an auto mechanic, be it a client service executive, be it a doctor or be it a media executive. When he knows that the executive/company will provide him with a service that matches his expectation, the chances of repeat sales are very high. Moreover, a happy long term client will more likely refer you to his friends, ultimately netting more business for you/company in the long run.

Know him and his business more:

Every salesman needs to know what the client’s business is, how his company functions, what his marketing strategies are and what his competitors are onto. The more you know about his business, the better you are in a position to suggest meaningful solutions which will increase returns for him. Empathise with your client and know him better on a personal level. The key to building a great rapport with the client is to feel for the client from within. The process has to come to you naturally. The moment you start thinking how can I get more business out of this guy, business goes for a toss.

The Inconsequential Existing Client

Very often we all make the mistake of categorizing clients into two- ‘the cribber’ and the ‘I shall lie down and take it’ types. The cribber, because he makes a hue and cry gets more attention from the executive/company. The latter, due to what ever compulsions he has or personal traits will just lie down and take bucketfuls of whatever you throw at them. It’s about time the executive/company treat the latter with respect.

Put yourself in the client’s shoes for a second and think of this situation – You are a regular spender with your neighborhood grocery and do most of your monthly shopping there. You and a stranger (lets assume that he is a first timer at the particular store) are at the counter for some service and the sales guy promptly helps the stranger, while you are kept waiting for the next 15 minutes- Would you like to go back to the store? A classic mistake most sales people do- you tend to give more importance to your new client and take for granted the regular guy.

The Non Spender: Tomorrow's Goldmine

Spend more time and energy on your existing clients, including non spenders and results will start trickling in- there is a for sure a probability that he might not give you immediate business (because your product does not give him sufficient investment on return), the trust and efforts you have put in to build a relationship without getting business will be rewarded at some stage- the trickle that might be today might eventually turn out to be a flood!

Think Client, Think Returns for Client

The down-the-line sales guy is a highly pressured lot- they have targets to meet, they have bosses to manage, they have clients to be kept happy, they have to do internal selling and they also have to be expert fire fighters- Fire fighting is something that comes with a sales job. In between all this, where is the time to think of creating value for the client? Where is the time to understand the client and think on how the particular sale will help improve business for the client?
No time? No long term business- Till the time that the client feels that Mr. Salesman from Company X will not suggest something that will be a dead investment, Mr. Client will always view you/company with suspicion, in turn reducing the business that Company X might have got otherwise.

To be hopefully continued in the next post…

Comments

Anand said…
hey! interesting read...wen is the next part coming?

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