Home > Ideas > Whose side are you on?

Whose side are you on?

Yesterday my regular reader Mr. Koshy Modiyil had responded with this wonderful anecdote about a Sales interaction he had witnessed firsthand:

This reminds me of an incident that happened in the Reserve Bank of India way back in the 1940s. A Salesman approached the Chief Accountant (CA) with a Facit Adding-machine. He demonstrated how efficient, accurate and fast the machine can add up any set of numbers. The CA gave him some assorted list of numbers and said he would like to speed at which the task can be accomplished – he timed the work with a stop watch. The machine completed the task in a certain time. Then the CA called Mr. Panicker, a clerk in his team, and gave him the same numbers. Panicker could complete the task 1 minute less than the machine. The salesman was at his wits end; he admitted defeat and started to leave. The CA called him back and Said: “I have only one Panicker, so the need for more of your machines.

A brilliant story – it depicts the “Us vs Them” attitude playing out in the minds of some Salespersons – such a stand can lose them a lot of business.

An Objection is a huge opportunity to investigate further.

Don’t you think, this Salesperson could have said this?

–          “That was fantastic, Mr. Panicker! I wish I could add that fast.”

He could have then turned to the Chief Accountant and asked:

–          “Are all your team–members as good as Mr. Panicker?”

That simple technique would have created a positive impression on Mr. Panicker and the CA – the Salesperson appreciated and praised and then opened the door for further exploration.

The CA would obviously have come out with his requirement in due course if the Fact man had continued probing the right way – he could then have made the Sale on his own strength than having to be rescued by a kindly customer.

But doing this needs presence of mind and nimbleness to understand the possibilities.

Objections are Customer’s way of testing the Salesperson’s mettle, the quality of the product and service. He is making doubly sure that the company he is dealing with a reliable and the product he is buying will serve him well.

Instead of an adversarial stand Sales Professionals should work alongside the Customer and help them through the process.

Forge partnerships with your Customer …. You have to be on their side!

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  1. Raaj
    February 7, 2012 at 11:59 pm

    Good lesson Jayan. Thank you.
    Keep ’em coming!

    • JayadevM
      February 8, 2012 at 8:33 am

      Thank you, Raaj!

  2. Lekha Pillai
    February 8, 2012 at 5:29 am

    I think a good lesson to all the Sales People. Thank you Mr. Jayadev. Expect more of such posts.

    • JayadevM
      February 8, 2012 at 8:29 am

      Hello Lekha, thank you for visiting my blog.

      Happy to hear that you find my articles relevant and useful. My endeavours to continue posting such messages.

      Look forward to hearing from you again.

  3. Cherian george
    February 9, 2012 at 7:27 am

    Good one Jayadev

    • JayadevM
      February 9, 2012 at 8:59 am

      Thank you, Cherian!

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