Written by Antonio Igarza for Buljan & Partners Consulting
For the customer, the seller is the company.
The client does not distinguish between the seller or the sales manager and the organization for which they work.
Customers do not know what happens behind the doors that say “Only for company personnel”. They don´t know the areas of responsibility, the descriptions of the functions of the office, or what the salesman can or cannot do for them.
The customer “just” wants to be treated the way he / she considers best.
The client’s attitude is clear:
“Help me with this please”
“Look at my situation and give me the best solution”
“Solution this problem”
“Give my order when promised”
Most of the positive and negative feelings that a client has in the purchase process have their origin in the direct relationship to the experience he/she has had with the salesperson or sales manager, and the way to help meet his/her needs.
Every interaction between a customer and a salesman is a moment in the chain of customer experiences. But also, there are other situations that can destroy all previous good work. For example, in the automotive industry, an excellent relationship between customer and salesman can be broken for mistreatment in aftersales, or a bad experience with the CRM responsible.
To create a lasting and stable relationship, salesmen need to follow a structured and measured process:
1. Professionalism: Both treatment to the client and the image a company projects are key when buying products. A clean, “customer friendly” and responsive place, a dress form suitable that fits with the company level, etc…
2. Always be aware when the customer arrives: Every customer likes to be treated as unique: once he/she arrives, the salesman must greet and assist him/her immediately, or ask him/her to wait a few minutes for being very busy. Look him in the eyes, be cordial and respectful and use language and tone according to the consumer.
3. Find out what motivates the client: First element before a sale is knowing why that customer is there: He/she might want to purchase a product or just curiosity. The good salesman asks the customers what they really expect in the business and then, tries to give them an immediate response. The goal is to make a proper qualification.
4. Communication: In a sales process, the one deserving to be listened is the client. So, the salesman has to avoid interruptions: Do not make or answer phone calls or respond to other clients while focusing on a person. The salesman has to spend all the time necessary to the client and find out about motivations, needs, barriers, etc…
5. Offer as needed: According to experts, it is not selling much, but to sell well. The objective is to define the right product that best meets the customer’s expectations.
8. Focus: Depending on the type of business, a gift or discount might be received properly by the customer. If the type of purchase is of a higher maturity period, it might be necessary to negotiate a win-win approach as position. Discount is one more product, one must sell equally. It´s not only about the money, it´s also about motivation and fit the relationship in a long way run period of loyalty between customer and salesman.
9. Loyalty: The sale does not end with the sale: must always be in contact with the client: Whether the product offered really left him/her satisfied, whether he/she has doubts, obtain references, etc.. Get feedback from your customer by email or telephone. It is not harassing, but let him know that the salesman is at your disposal at all times.
10. Have to be ready for a big “NO”: Many sells activities end with a “No”. In fact, there are only a 20% of the activities that end as a real sale.
Salesmen must be ready to receive that big “no” and to transform it into a “yes” in another period of time. It depends on the industry, but it’s even cheaper and more important to transform those “no” into a sell, than to try to conquest a new part of the market.