Home > Sales Techniques > “Pleased to meet you!”

“Pleased to meet you!”

Jagat sells high-end home accessories – he is Sales Manager in the luxury products segment of an organisation that has been in Sanitary-ware Business for more than 30 years. Till recent times the organisation had focused on just one city; he was brought in to expand their business to other towns across the state.

Jagat comes in with rich experience in Sales but in a different business; he was in B2B Sales and had managed teams in the past – this is a new challenge for him. From Office Equipment he moved to luxury fixtures for bathroom – walk-in showers, high-end faucets, Jacuzzis and so on.

His clients would be High Networth Individuals – the Upper Middle Class and the Rich. Meeting the end-users individually would yield the best results, but it would mean a huge Sales effort. Appointing resources who can deal with the upper-end of the market would mean larger salaries and commissions; presently his organisation is averse to making such investments and has decided to address the target group through Influencers. They feel that the influencers, if convinced, would help to bring the customers to their showrooms or at least induce them to make call to the Sales Team for further discussions.

The Influencers who would do the trick for them are Architects and Interior Designers – they design the Villas and homes of the rich and famous. Jagat’s job is to meet all the Influencers in the major cities.

The business owner has a network of friends and associates built up during the three decades he has been in this business segment. He introduced Jagat to some of his close friends in the Influencer group and gave him the business expectations for the year.

Jagat found that the first visit went quite nicely, after all he had come in with an introduction. In some instances his circle of friends helped to set up meetings –these ice-breaking sessions went well, but not much business was coming his way.

Jagat found two road-blacks as he worked the market – people he called without any introduction weren’t willing to give him an appointment – we live in a world that has multiple players in every available business segment, each of them fighting for a share of the same pie and Jagat was a new player in the market that had many well-entrenched players.

In spite of being the exclusive supplier of some high quality products he was not able to make any inroads. Some of the Architects he had visited earlier were “not available” for a second meeting.

Jagat and I discussed a few things that can help break the impasse:

–          Create Islands of Goodwill: From the first set of people he had met, Jagat should ask the friendlier and supportive ones to help him open the next set of doors.

–          Jagat should have an excellent Demo video of his organisation’s previous projects and top it with a set of testimonials from clients and architects.

–           Since he is a new player in the market his organisation needs to get a promotional activity going that will benefit the Influencers when they introduce prospects. Maybe even offer to do a project at breakeven price to have a client in the market. He needs to be careful not to offer such pricing as standard practice.

–          Jagat would also benefit by conducting a promotional activity at the Professional Association of the Influencer group; a presentation and a networking activity would help him to add a lot of new names to his list of friends.

–          Social Media is a powerful new tool available to reach the end-user and the influencer group: a user-friendly and informative website and a blog that talks about home accessorizing and trends in the business would help to establish his organisation as an expert in the segment.

Jagat left our discussion feeling positive – earlier he had the distinct feeling at some of the meetings that they had agreed to see him only to please the person who gave the introduction. He realized that more back-up and ammo is needed to break the barriers and got set to do the needful.

It’s important that the influencer sees value in meeting with you. Jagat needs to show how they, and the end-user, would benefit from associating with his organisation.

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  1. Jamy
    July 11, 2012 at 8:33 pm

    Spot on again Jay- absolutely, preparation is key to make a forceful impact and that too with limited time available to impress potential customers against stiff competition. Great read again Jay! Hope you’re feeling better!

    • JayadevM
      July 11, 2012 at 8:34 pm

      Hi Jamy,

      Thank you for the support.

      Am much better – still some way to go before I am 100% fit.

      But it feels great to be able to write again.

      Regards!!

  2. Rajeev R Kamath
    July 12, 2012 at 2:15 am

    Jayadev ,Good Articles ,It is called depth undrestading in Sales Process ,What is called Need Analysis or finding a gap and fulfilling the need or gap.

    • JayadevM
      July 12, 2012 at 6:48 am

      Hi Rajeev

      Welcome to the blog. Thank you for reading and for sharing that insight.

      Look forward to hearing from you again.

  3. July 12, 2012 at 3:14 am

    That was laser sharp diagnosis and effective course correction of Jagat’s business, out of the troubled waters onto the thriving port. The mini case study was an interesting read.

    • JayadevM
      July 12, 2012 at 6:40 am

      Thank you, Umashankar!

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