Sales — Not My Job!

This is not about Lead Generation, or those mantras of download this, or join a program and discover the magic of exponential growth.  The biggest skill in sales is that today many realize they can no longer get by on product expertise alone.  They know the real expert is the customer.

We are all in it together – for the top priority in terms of growing or sustaining careers or business would be Making Sales!  Sales is an Orchestra – and it is a skill you need to imbibe even more in current times, whether you are in accounts, administration or HR or Marketing or Production.  

Does he speak or do you seek?

The biggest mistake that many salespeople commit is to rant about their product stories with great enthusiasm, not bothering whether the recipient is listening. How basic it is when one says instead of just talk, indulge in a dialogue so you can hear too and find the needs and wants of the customer.  Those who adopt a customer-centric exchange of information that begins and ends with the customer whose needs must drive the conversation, taste success.  

Look at how you are enveloped by Sales Pitch all around you, and many a times get impressed and buy more than needed. Learn from the sales pitch from the basics around you.

A resourceful roadside shop that stocks your needs!

Sitting in a bus, there are sales persons peddling snacks, books, soft drinks, juices, and water.  Then there is a whole plethora of electronic offerings with headphones and USB Charger chord as fast moving items. The transit stops have elaborate food malls, apart from the hawkers selling local stuff.

The offerings seems the same when one travels by train, with the food offering being more elaborate with take away.  Add to these, things like toothbrush, paste, towels, tissues, plastic mugs, chains and locks to fasten your luggage, air pillows and so on. 

When it comes to air travel, the same offerings get more sophisticated in terms of the settings.  Apart from the functional stuff, there are lifestyle and luxury items that get added here.   

Moving to a shopping area, be it a trade market, street side bazaar, a grocery, chemist, supermarket, mall, mall-multiplex, hypermarket and so on, the story seems to be the same. 

This is not about shopping trends, but something to make you ponder on the way these people POSITION themselves strategically to cater to the needs of the customer. 

They have been able to effectively ASSESS the POTENTIALITY by their PRESENCE,  as they have VISUALIZED the SCENARIOS, RELATING to the customer needs, being AGILE and ATTENTIVE with PRECISE PLACEMENT of the offerings, and depending on their performance, REVIEW and PROBE for better results.  It is clear that without an understanding of customer needs, it’s almost impossible to connect capabilities to customer needs.

The capitalized words are seen as critical skills in sales,

What are you strong at, and what are the areas you need to work on?

How many of the offers did you respond to that tried to influence you through those snail mails, those door to door salesmen (no gender offence meant, women also included), canvassers at public places, telemarketing calls, and now emailers, sms and other promotional offers!

The truth is we are all selling, ourselves, our offerings, our services, and when the other person sells, we get hassled – ever wondered why?  When it becomes a monologue, it irritates us!  

Gone are the days when highly impressive copy written by the experts, backed by slick production, and articulate salesmen were indicative of a company’s success. We all have a Sales approach we use consciously or subconsciously every day.   To an already information fatigued customer, another unidirectional message would only be futile.  Make sure that your message begins and ends with the customer whose needs must drive the conversation.

A Communications & Marketing Consultant, with about three decades of rich experience across various management disciplines, Interests include: International Politics, Management, Marketing, Wellness, Indian Music, Theater, Reading and Writing.

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