5 Lessons learnt from my career in Sales:
I have met many people that do not like the word Sales. In fact many would actually flinch at the very thought of it. Most people associate sales with the Car Salesman or the shrewd conniver who can somehow convince a bald guy to buy a hair brush. In short, a lot of people have this negative connotation towards sales. But does it really have to be this way? Does sales really mean persuading someone to buy something they don't really want?
Well quite the contrary, times have changed. Although some might argue against the very necessity of appointing a sales force because of the power of Marketing and Social media, in today's date of age of so many identical products and features the Sales person makes the difference.
How you might ask?
1) Its not about just the product anymore:
Today's customer isn't just looking for a single product that will solve his one problem. The customer is looking for an experience. In other words, from the initial the interactions that bring him to the store, sale point, website till the point when he actually loves it and recommends it to his near and dear, he should he WOWed.
For example: Let talk about Apple. For so many customers, their love with the brand starts with the well designed and Minimalistic stores. They then get impressed by the smart and informative Apple Sales Consultants. Having enjoyed the demo they buy an iPhone. Slowly but surely, the customer falls in love with the browser Safari and the iCloud. After a certain point, due to some stroke of bad luck a small dark pixel appears on the phone and the customer takes it to the service centre. He is then floored by the amazing service when his phone is replaced without any questions asked. He then buys the iPad, the Macbook, Airport express and syncs his whole home to create an Apple eco system. Then the iPhone 5 releases....Why do you think so many people line up to purchase it? (Ok...frankly i am not a part of the Apple cult) But hey, i am just another customer who loves great products that sync together and bring a smile to millions.
2) Don't just sell, cure a pain:
Although many companies were started on the humble foundation of providing excellent products that actually solve peoples problems, many companies have long forgotten the reason why they make the products in the first place. As a result, there are so many products that are poured into the market and salesmen appointed who are instructed to just sell and achieve targets.
But one thing these companies forget, is that sale is not the cause, its the outcome of identifying something. Identifying the pain that lies in the customers mind. Wow, you may say that this is a bit blunt...Pain?
Well yes..Man is motivated to take action by 2 reasons and 2 reasons alone. Either to achieve pleasure or to avoid pain, and the second motivator is stronger. An efficient sales consultant identifies the underlying pain that exists in the customers lifestyle and explains or suggests how his product will act as a cure. What happens as a result is that money is exchanged for value. This customer becomes a customer for life. Why do you ask? Because the product was just not pushed, but he was recommended the product based on his requirement.
3) Talk less, Listen More:
Ok, lets admit it..Man is a social animal right? So what do social animals do most of the time? Talk, talk , talk...Talk is related to pleasure and pleasure is what we always want. Have you even met a sales person who just keeps talking? On and on and on and on..What happens as a result? The customer politely nods and walks away. The sales guy then says that the customer was either not interested or the he felt it was too expensive, but in reality he ignored the most important Rule in Sales and Marketing.
'Let the Customer Talk'....
This not only applied to Sales but this very profound thought applies to life as well. We have been give one mouth and two ears for a particular reason and we must utilize these organs in that proportion as well. When we talk we don't really gain much, but when we listen not only does the other person feel respected, loved and cherished but you stand to gain a lot of perspective, knowledge and wisdom too.
So i strongly recommend using these 3 skills on an immediate basis, because life is about Taking Massive Action remember? :)
1) Don't just create a product, create an end to end experience.
2) Don't just Sell a product, ease the customers pain.
3) Talk less, Listen more.