Selling is often seen as equivalent to manipulating the buyer to buy things she does not need. I have also undergone such a manipulation, having signed on the dotted line trusting the sales man. Unfortunately only later I realized that I have been told half-truths.
We are all familiar with such scenarios where we are sold things we don’t want . It is a known fact that we prefer the places where the salesman do not push deals and do not force us to buy something we don’t need.
My experience in buying a TV
I remembered a salesman in shop trying to sell me a TV. To close it, he threw a deal at me. I would get a DVD player free if I take the TV. It was a good deal, if I had dearth of DVD players in my house. I have so many unneeded DVD players, in laptop, in XBOX, music players that play DVD and one additional DVD that I purchased because it was cheap. Getting one more DVD was really not my favourite choice. I told him about that. He did not know what next to offer me. Maybe his company did not allow him to create deals on the go. Maybe he was not trained enough to make sales.
There are following problems with sales:
- It has a reputation of being dishonest( not that all sales people are dishonest)
- It hardly puts enough effort in knowing the customer
- It focus only on short term goals
- It sells us things we don’t need and things that don’t fulfill our actual need.
However sales persons are not the only reason to be blamed for making sales. It is often the corporate culture often that forces people to make sales because everyone has got the targets to meet.
Successful companies however do not rely only on salesmen to make sales
There are a large number of world class companies where the brand reputation often reaches customers much earlier than the people from sales can. That means that those customers are often pre-sold and need very less convincing at selling. These companies demonstrate
- very keen understanding of customer behavior
- letting go of short term profits for long term relationship building
- educating sales team to think about needs of customer first even to the point of missing sales
- concentrating on repeat customers and creating deals which makes sense for them.
A customer feels elated when she feels that she has clinched a good deal from you.
Since you know your business well, you can know what deal will work out well for your customer. That would involve studying customer habits and desires and then making appropriate strategies to make them buy your products. An entrepreneur often needs to do much more to understand the customer and he can do it well because he has a small base of customers. Big organizations often use technology to research customer behavior.
A good suggestion then is to listen to your customer and then creating sales around that. It requires full organization to be involved in this not only the salesmen or sales department.
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