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Who sells?

It’s a question that generates a lot of steam in Conference Rooms across the world.

Head Honchos of the most organisations mandate that from CEO to Janitor, everyone should do this mission critical activity.

But what is the reality? Let me give you an illustration.

Recently my TV went on the blink. I called the manufacturer’s Service Centre and asked for a technician. He turned up on schedule and did a thorough job – after the gadget was up and running he told me how I can avoid a recurrence of this problem.

Pleased with the quality of service I decided to make a long pending purchase (a DVD player) from the same manufacturer – they have a good range on offer. Thanking him for the great job done I asked for some information on his company’s DVD players. His blank stare told me that I might as well have asked for the route to Timbuktu.

He had no clue! I was told to call the Sales Office or visit a showroom – he had no phone number or brochure to offer me.

This irked me – not because he had messed up, but his boss had; his organisation had lost a huge opportunity to sell. Forget the janitor, at least the Service Technicians, who regularly meet customers, should be doing it.

From my experience as a Business Manager I could visualize the conversation between the Sales Manager and the Service Manager:

Sales Manager – Remember what the Chairman said? Let’s give the technicians some product knowledge and pricing information so that they can inform the customers when asked? Let them do the first steps and my team can go in later and close the sale. They can carry a few brochures with the Service Kit.

Service Manager – My team is neck-deep in work already. Let them not waste any time on selling. I won’t let you overload them. Get your team to work smarter!

This is not a stray incident. Organisations spend hours on market analysis but stumble when a sale is staring them in the face.

There is only one answer to the question that started this article – Everyone sells!

You don’t believe me? Check the videos of speeches by the CEOs and Chairmen of leading Corporations, available on YouTube. They don’t leave the task to their Sales Teams.

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