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Sales 101 – Selling in Tough Times – Part 3

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Following on from last week, here are some more tips on Selling in Tough Times.

Be Prepared
This one I am seriously found wanting on!  You see, since all of my leads come out of Networking, I have already, very briefly met the person that I am having a meeting with (except of course when it is a referral), so I do know a little bit about them, presuming of course that I remember who they are.

The problem is that I have a very bad memory with names and faces and the fact of the matter is that I am usually meeting them for the second time, for an in depth meeting, several months down the line.  What I should perhaps (in fact very definitely) be doing is googling them and finding out as much as I can about them and what it is that they do so that I am not going into the meeting blind.

What this tells the person that you are meeting, when you know a bit about them and what it is that they do or what their company is all about, is that you are serious about what it is that you do.  It creates a tremendous amount of credibility for you as it shows that you were interested enough in what is to come out of the meeting, to find out more about them and then be able to discuss or ask questions that make sense.

Sell reliability.
Well now, this one certainly pertains to me.  I often start off amused and then slowly (actually it quite quickly) become quite irritated with a sales person, that waxes lyrical about the technical stuff that happens with a product.

I am not a techno person, so I don’t understand the stuff and when I don’t understand it, throwing all the technical jargon at me, just makes me realize how many things can go wrong with the product.
Tell me the bottom line in easy to understand English.  Tell me in easy to understand English if there is a guarantee and what brings it into effect.

Two of my favorite sales (and they both happened over a year ago) are:  It was time to upgrade my cell phone, something that can normally be extremely frustrating for me.  I walked into MTN at Rosebank and spoke to the young chap behind the counter.  I said something along the lines of “I am a Nokia girl, this is what I have – I want the same or better and I don’t want to have to pay in.”  Five minutes later I walked out with my new phone, all the paperwork done and dusted.

The second one was the purchase of my digital camera.  Now I am not one to rush around like a mad thing taking happy snaps all the time, but I do take photos from time to time and it was time to drag myself kicking and screaming into the 21st century.  I walked into the camera shop in Cresta and spoke to the young chap who always sorted the printing of my photo’s out.  I said something along the lines of “I have no idea of the brand that I want, I want something simple that I can point at the general direction and it takes a reasonable photo.  I don’t want to have to decide weather it is dark or light, the camera must do that for me, and it must not cost more that R2.50 (that’s always said with a huge grin on my face, but they understand what it is that I am saying.”  Fifteen minutes later I walked out of shop with a new camera, camera bag and several other accessories.  The camera had been programmed for me and all I have to do is press the two buttons – one to switch the thing on and the other to take the picture.  Perfect!

In both of these instances, the sales person listened to me.  They listened to what it was that I wanted and they gave it to me.  In most of my other disastrous shopping experiences the sales person doesn’t listen to what it is that I want, instead they try to give me what they think I should have.  Half the time I don’t understand what they are trying to say because I am not a technical person and I have no interest in hearing all that waffle.

Most people will tell you that I am extremely difficult – I disagree.  If you give me exactly what it is that I want I am the easiest person on the planet.  I am sure that if you tell these two salesmen that I am difficult they will disagree and tell you that it was the easiest and quickest sale that they have ever made.

Next week we will look at some more tips on Selling in Tough Times.

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