Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Facts and Falacies About Selling: Falacy #8:

Falacy #8: Don't call yourself a salesperson.

Salespeople feel that a title such as, marketing representative and other high-sounding titles make them more acceptable.

Reality: True professionals rarely object to others calling them a salesperson. Some retailers teach their salespeople to say, “We’re not on commission.” This discredits our profession. The implication here is that “being on commission” is somehow bad for the buyer. It isn’t. Ineffective salaried salespeople still ask customers, “Can I help you?” Most of them can’t help at all. They consistently give customers a “guided tour” of the merchandise or, worse, ask the customer to browse to their heart’s content and let me know if I can help.

Customers want salespeople who provide genuine assistance in the buying decision not those trying to impress with their “expertise” or knowledge. This phenomenon is not limited to retail sales. In hundreds of interviews, we’ve heard average and low-producers content, “You give me a good customer and I’ll make the sale every time.”

Persuading the prospect to buy is not, in their view, their responsibility. Average producers genuinely believe high-producers are “lucky” or are the boss’s favorites who get all the “good leads.”

Two of the most effective salespeople we’ve encountered are on commission and provided us with expert assistance. In less than five minutes, one moved us away from higher-priced merchandise that did not suit our needs. We are delighted with our purchase and gladly refer this commissioned salesperson to our friends.

Another salesperson sold us several thousand dollars worth of goods in less than 45 minutes of very helpful conversation. His knowledge of the merchandise was astounding. He shared this knowledge with us only after uncovering our specific wants and needs. He looked to be under thirty years old and was head and shoulders above several people in the same store with years of “experience.” They were selling the same merchandise, in the same store, at the same time to the same stream of potential customers. He obviously out produces them in product mix, sales volume, and customer satisfaction.

Unfortunately, management seems unable to create a team of delivery and service people with the same level of competency. This scenario is common in many organizations and presents a serious problem for buyers. It appears customers have to be lucky enough to stumble on a professional salesperson.

Fast Facts

Can't wait for 2009 figures!

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