Selling is easy – one needs to ensure that you are able to articulate eloquently the benefits of your product to a potential customer and ensure quick closure – right ? Well, yes and no.
More often than not, as sales persons, we are a harried lot. The demands on us are tremendous – for time, which is ours and for money or revenues, which we have to generate and which is the basic reason we exist as salesmen. Compounded to this maybe all the other pressures which we have, which may be justified and which we as social beings have to attend to. Prioritisation maybe a solution to the above challenges, but then we can keep that as the subject of another post.
As a salesperson, we have multiple goals with one of the critical ones being that of closing the sale. Once the closure is done, revenues should flow in. End of task.
In his efforts to fit everything into his busy schedule and ensure that the sale is made, the salesman will go through the process of generating the sales but as a mere formality. It’s in our nature to conserve and take the shortest route to reach a particular goal. He may cut corners in the process – not focusing on the customer, her problems and the solutions that she, as a customer is seeking, not focus on the value that may accrue to the customer and the organisation he serves by not arriving at the right price for the transaction or simply not be too bothered about the entire customer decision journey. As salespeople, we are impatient for results – we want a win at all costs in the shortest time possible. Failure is something we are averse to and don’t want to encounter.
Results which come in this way are invariably through the easy route. Something which may help us achieve our short term results but may not be sustainable and repeatable. Such results are always at a risk in the long term.
‘Selling right‘ is therefore, extremely critical. It needs time, patience and sustained efforts. A salesman needs to question himself, on the following aspects, to constantly understand whether he is selling right –
- What is it that the customer wants ? Say a customer comes in to buy a cycle. While the overt intention made by the customer is to purchase a cycle, it is critical for the salesman to understand the reasons for which the cycle will be put to use – leisure, fitness, racing, adventure or anything else. Basis the final use for which the customer wants a cycle, the salesman can recommend the right product to the potential customer. For the salesman, this therefore means that he needs to know his products very well, what each product stands for and the benefits that each can provide to the customer.
- What is it that I want to do ? For an individual to be a successful salesman, it is critical that he understands his True North. He needs to have a passion for sales, be committed to driving himself to the highest standards that he expects from others, keeping honesty at the core of all the actions he takes. No doubt these are difficult standards to maintain, particularly in a profession like sales, but an individual who strives to attain the same will have a strong and loyal set of customers cum followers willing to accept anything that he sells – this in a way embodies the next two elements of a successful salesman.
- Am I being respectful to the customer ? A salesman, thanks to his training in a particular area as well as the time he spends on his job, is expectedly more knowledgeable than the potential customer. This knowledge should be viewed maturely, to assist and help understand the needs of the potential customer helping her to reach a decision. The effort at all times,is to enable a satisfying experience for the potential customer. The customer comes first and she should leave the point of sales feeling respected.
- Am I willing to learn ? Potential customers are on a journey of exploration and this starts much before they actually encounter any salesmen. Hence, when a salesman walks up to a potential customer, he should be prepared to encounter an aware customer. Thanks to the internet, at times, the customer may be aware of certain aspects of the offering much better than the seller. The salesman needs to be respectful of new things which he may be made aware of by a knowledgeable customer. The salesman’s respect towards the heightened awareness of the customer also leads to a very satisfying purchase experience for the customer.
What you believe as an individual will be crucial for you to succeed as a salesman. A genuine person at heart, who sincerely believes in helping others has a good chance of succeeding as a salesman. For him then, the right way is the easy way.
As an organisation or a sales leader, are you taking the right steps to ensure that your team members sell the right way ?
It will be interesting to learn from you, as to how you are going about the process of helping your sales team to sell the right way and making it the easy way. In case you will like any form of help in creating, streamlining, scaling up and sustaining your distribution network, feel free to write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will be happy to connect with you to help out on the same. You can also connect with me on Twitter @sanjeevleader and on LinkedIn at https://in.linkedin.com/in/sanjeevsrivastava