This is an article on the salesman's knowledge about choosing the right customer.
“Sir, why do not you buy an accident insurance”-The girl in the departmental store requested the gentleman, who was there for a buy of a packet of washing powder.
“This scheme is for incidents like suppose you are driving on the road and you meet an accident and your hands and legs get broken, then this insurance can give you good benefit”-The girl at the counter added.
The man listened in baffling silence-red-faced. Although it was a clear affront, he was trying hard to conceal anger and muttered- “No thank you”.
The girl was mum as she got a hint of the man’s anger from his eyes, but the young boy standing beside her, continued requesting again-“Sir, only ninety bucks ,please consider. Sir, I have to fill up my monthly target”.
The man flared up this time, using foul language.
“Shut up you fools, is this way you talk to customers”.
That day was a bad day for both the guy and girl. Both in their early twenties got a rap on their knuckles for slapdash sales approach.
The manager took tuition of the few basics of sales acumen.
(I) know the right MAN
A sales guy has to at first determine the three characteristics in a person. The first one is whether the prospective customer has money.
The next decisive point in the customer is whether the person has authority.
The third but clinching point to sell is whether the customer has need.
(2) How to judge the money factor of MAN
Judging the MAN implies knowing the caliber of the above three things in a customer. Be it an institutional sales or direct sales, the salesman has to exercise his discretion to know thoroughly about the three things. Let’s take the matter of money at first.
How can you judge the money factor from the insides of a customer’s pocket?
It is not simple, although not impossible.
In cases of institutional sales, the sales person can access the source of funds by checking the information of the concerned office.
But what about direct sales, where you stand face-to-face with customer?
It is said the person having highest information is the richest person. That is also true in case you are trying to market products directly to the customer.
In management, we take help of study of “demography” meaning classes of people by their income, age and various characteristics. Accordingly we design products and services for them.
The salesman has to keep himself informed about the categories his customer belongs to. What kind of profession, his customer is involved in? The place where the prospective client stays and the kind of vehicle he drives?
What is the age of the customer and his monthly income.
All the collective information can give you a good deal of knowledge about his pocket- purchasing capacity. So the salesman has to lay stress on collecting maximum information about the customer and then decide upon the sales approach.
In simple language we call it “homework” that a salesman must do.
(3) The “Authority” factor of MAN
The word authority usually means power. But most of the times it is misleading while making a sale. Imagine a scene, where husband and wife are standing together. One direct salesman approaches them and briefs them about an exercise kit. He demonstrates the product with great efficiency. The hubby is showing great interest to go for the buy. The wife listens carefully. The man is fully authorized to buy but the woman stops him in the eleventh hour of closure of sale. She dissuades the man saying that he should go for a broad search in the internet and shops.
But the husband has money. He carries the full authority to buy. He does have the need. But he can not buy.
So in sales the term “authority” does not strictly mean power. For a purchase of a thing in a family has emotional background.
The suggestion for the sales fraternity is while demonstrating a product, please ask all the listeners to be participative.
A “demo” does not mean pouring out the details; those you have mugged up either from your managers or from the information booklets.
Judging the interest level of the people present in the demonstration of product is quite important. Ask the listeners repeatedly to be participative. Catch their interest by arousing it. Present interesting facts.
There are customers who listen silently with the firm determination right from the inception not to buy it. Here try tricks to bring him full in participation. Politely hand over the product to that person and ask for his suggestions. If it is pressed politely then he will of course open up and show interest.
The salesman in the above case failed to catch the attention of the woman. She felt that she was being ignored in the demonstration of the product. Finally she vetoed against the buy of the product.
(4) How to create the need factor of the MAN.
Who feels the need of a good diaper for the baby?
The reply is obviously his mother.
Who feels the need of a good school bag for a school going child?
Well the parents do.
The point is a baby and child can not determine their needs. Similarly there are adults who can not say what they really need.
A proverb goes like this that one can eat as per the need of his tongue but has to wear clothes as per the choices of others. What is looking good on your body, it has be guided by the skill of a dress designer. Very often, we seek company of others while we go to buy clothes of in our favorite stores.
Need actualization is a difficult subject.
While demonstrating a product, the need factor has to be elaborated thoroughly.
While we tell about a product’s distinct features, it has to be based on the utilities the product gives vis-à-vis the needs of the customers.
The moot point is the user may be unaware of his own needs but there has to be a person who endorses his needs. Wives can be selective about their men’s perfumes, shirts, trousers and even the contraceptives as it fits their imaginations.
So the sales force must be taught to approach the right person who would determine what his or her people would exactly need.
One of the approaches that salesman must adopt while selling is to suggest options in color, make, size, design and other related things to the person making a buy as per the needs of his well-wishers.
A flower seller on the street would of course ask you that whether the person for whom you are purchasing a bouquet is a good friend, an intimate friend or just a friend. He is well-versed in suggesting flowers as per the needs of a good friend, an intimate friend or just a friend.
BDA Colony, Kapila Prasad