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How to be a good Salesman

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In my line of business, which is a retail hardware store, I meet lots of salesmen. They come with their briefcases filled with catalogues and new products trying to make some sales to achieve their sales target for the month. Sometimes a salesman can be really annoying. These normally will leave empty handed, from me at least.

The overly persistent salesman

When you are trying to make a sale or open a new customer account, don’t be overly persistent. You must be patient. Never walk into a shop, shake the boss’s hand after a brief introduction and start blasting away about your products, how good they are compared to others, how cheap they are and then start to imply that they will be at the loosing end if they don’t buy from you. For all you know, the shop owner has already more than enough of suppliers for the things that you are selling.

Don’t Blow your Trumpet too loudly

Don’t bring out a product that no one has even heard of and try to bluff away, saying that your product is capable of everything and it has been exported to many countries. Don’t ever proceed to demonstrate what your products can do without the approval of the potential customer. Most shop owners don’t like people tampering with their goods of whatever that is on their desk. Unless he ask you to show him, don’t start your demonstration. You will be seen as overly eager to sell your product. Since you claim that your product is so superior, why the hell are you selling them door to door?

Be a sincere and compassionate salesman

What you should do is, on the first trip, introduce yourself. Present them your catalogues. Say since this is your first time here, you understand that they might have their reservations. Tell them to consider you when a certain product has ran out of stock. Then leave politely and tell them you will visit them next month if you are in town.

Come next month, do pay them your second visit. This time act like a friend since you already know each other. Enquire about his business. Offer him a cigarette if he smokes. Discuss about other business in the same field and how they are faring in other States. They will be eager to know how others are doing compared to him. Listen to his rants and complains about how bad business has become. Give passionate replies and encouragements. Then get up and leave, but before leaving ask if he needs anything from you. If he ask to browse your catalogs, you got yourself a new customer. If he does not, remind him to call you if he needs anything. Then leave after saying you will be in town again next month and remind him again that if he needs anything don’t hesitate to call.

On your third trip, pay him another visit. Enquire again if business has picked up somewhat. If the answer is positive, ask if he would like to browse your catalogue and replenish some stocks. If the answer is negative, also ask if he would like to take a look at your new products so that he will have something new to sell. Nine out of ten times, he will feel obligated to make some purchases from you. Tell them you give equal credit terms as the others. Tell them not to worry about payments as your company can be flexible. Put them at ease when buying from you.

Make sure you service them

After your effort to get that customer, make sure you service them like they are your one and only customer. Whenever they call address them by their names before their introduction. It’s easy nowadays with cell phone. List out their numbers and their names, so whenever they call you know who is calling. Answer the call by addressing “Good morning or Good Afternoon, Mr. so and so” instead of the ignorant “hello” and then wait for the caller to introduce themselves. When you address them by their names before they need to introduce themselves they know you treat them seriously. They will feel that they are important to you and people like that feeling of recognition.

Make sure you attend to their complains. Assure them that you will call back with an acceptable explanation and please, do make that return call, even if you can’t find an acceptable explanation. Your customer might be waiting for your call to make a crucial decision.


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