Thursday, June 23, 2011

How to Increase Your Sales Easily

As a salesperson, you are focused on achieving your target. Just as important as target oriented thinking, or even more, is putting yourself in the customer's shoes. If you do this, you will be quickly able to identify their needs. That can create a win-win situation for both of you.

The following story is about how a visit to a sports shop turned into an important lesson on improving sales.

I needed a toy ball for the stray puppies that visited our home for food. They needed some exercise.
There was a sports shop nearby and I visited them.

There were two people in the shop. One appeared to be the manager or owner. The other was the salesman. It seemed as if he was free, so I went up to him and asked if they had small footballs or handballs.

No answer. In fact, he looked away.

I repeated the question, to make sure he heard.

He showed the least interest, and did not bother to answer.

I felt very small-there was another customer now who was talking with the owner. Generally it is better to be indifferent to such things, and I was about to take my leave quietly, making a mental note never to visit that shop again.

I turned towards the door and saw the owner. He seemed approachable. Delhi was a big metro and sometimes getting things as simple as a ball could involve traveling a long distance-this also motivated me to ask!

I repeated my question to him. He made sure that he had understood correctly, and produced a football of the normal size.

It was big and heavy. The little puppies would not be able to move it. A smaller, lighter one would be better. He showed another sample. But it cost 350 bucks. It was possible to get a ball like that at a much cheaper price elsewhere. Also the need was for a light weight plastic or rubber toy ball.

This shop was for real sports goods, not toys.

OK, he said, without any sign of irritation. The salesman was watching the incident, and looked at the owner, like ‘I told you so.’ This guy will just keep asking questions, and not buy anything. Waste of time.

I did feel a bit small. However, there was no need to buy something just to make myself big in their eyes.

Just then, something that had been at the back of my mind, popped up. I had wanted a board of magnetic darts, some time back.

But there was slim chance this shop would have it, small that it was. I took a chance and dared to ask.

"Why yes. It sells here. I even might have one right now” said the owner and pulled a long black cylinder off the rack.

It was a magnetic darts board.

He opened it for me to see. He patiently answered my questions; and let me test its magnetism. Good.

The look on the face of the young salesman when I paid the bill and had it packed was incredulous. Too bad for him.

There are other factors also at work here: I had already thought of buying a dart board. But, who would have bothered to ask if the manager had not shown interest ?

Point: Be considerate and value your customers as you would like to be valued. The manager did not go overboard to please; he just listened, and patiently answered queries.

Result: a sale in 5 minutes!

Afterthought: Perhaps the salesperson may not have received his pay, or maybe he had some other gripe. Sure, but a customer is not a doctor!
Clients and customers can behave unreasonably. But their feedback is vital to your business. Salesmen need to find mature ways to resolve their issues.

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