You didn’t see that coming!
I enjoy Selling and being sold to! So, I often visit shops or call a company just to check how they sell. Most times I have no intention to buy, but my act is very convincing and I put them through the drill.
It helps in many ways:
- I get to know how the Sales Personnel are being trained.
- I am able to gauge their level of preparedness.
- I can assess their skills and attitudes.
Only yesterday I walked into a White Goods showroom ostensibly “shopping for a Washing Machine”.
In India we recycle extensively – very few things are use and throw. A Reynolds pen bought in France can be used till the ink runs out, after which you throw it away and get a new one. In India we buy a refill and continue using the external casing till it breaks or gives up on you! We trade in old TVs, blenders, Washing Machines and Hi-fi systems and get a discount on the new piece.
There is an unused TV occupying a lot of space at my house – it’s fully functional, but the old CRT type. We had purchased a LCD one and I wanted to get rid of this one at a good price.
I asked the Salesperson in the showroom to take my TV and give me a discount on the purchase of a new Washing Machine. He did not like the idea, but desperately wanted to make a sale – I could sense that!
When I entered the showroom he was dealing with a couple who were looking for a washing machine too. He had greeted me while his prospects checked the products, asked my requirement and then told me to be seated.
At regular intervals, when the couple got into a discussion he would run up to me and collect more details. He said that they usually don’t sell a different product on a replacement deal – so it had to be fridge for fridge or TV for TV. But then, in sales, there always is a way, right?
“I have something especially for you!” he said.
“Bring it on, Smart Guy”, I said in an undertone. I knew what was coming, but liked it because it’s precisely what he should be doing. The pitch was that he would find a buyer for my TV and offer me a discount on the Washing Machine (Great!) – He then had to go back to his sale again.
I slipped out when he wasn’t looking – didn’t want to lead the poor chap up the garden path. He had done a fair job; without irritating the other prospects he had worked on me, collected the necessary background information and kept me interested. I give him full marks for it.
But I had not revealed my phone number or address – he had not asked for it either. Most times poor salespersons fail to collect such details. I am sure this guy would have, just that I had not given him the opportunity to do so.
The message I wish to leave with all the Sales Professionals out there is this:
- You are constantly under scrutiny.
- Customers are trying to gauge your skills, credibility and honesty.
- Your buyer could be a potential employer who is there to test your skills.
- Maybe it’s your own company checking how the sales team is performing.
Never drop your guard! You are being tested all the time … Give every sale your best shot!