Sales are one of the hardest and at the same time one of the easiest disciplines in the world with over thousands of people learning the art every day. Each day a new technique is developed that renders the previous one obsolete. But there is one simple rule that you have to follow to make your sales effective; just think like your customer, what they would want, how would they like to be approached, etc. Now let’s say you’re a business owner that wants to increase his or her sales or you are maybe just, starting out, what will you need to do? Luckily for you, I have some advice that you will find very useful and will help you skyrocket your sales and expand your business.
First of all, before even thinking about going to the market with your product you should always make sure that your own staff is on board with the ideas and the plans that you have. Before you pitch to the others, you pitch to them and listen to what they have to say. Two heads are better than one and this way by pitching to your staff you will have multiple viewpoints and opinions that will allow you to improve your idea and your pitch before you actually hit the market. After your staff is on board you go to the distributors and make your pitch, your pitch will adjust from person to person and situation to situation and over here you’re making a pitch as to why this particular distributor should stock up your product in their outlet.
So you did it and you now have your stock on the shelves and people are buying it. But there’s a snag because there are other products in the market that are offering incentives to the store owner and distributors and while your product is a hit, he is making more profit on those products and so now you must pitch to the sales manager of the distributor to why should they re-buy your stock. Here you give them further incentives to the store owners and then they will keep your product in stock otherwise someone else will come in and make a better deal for them. After the distributor you pitch the retailer staff because at the end of the day it's these people who will actually open your stock to the general public and if the pitch you made to these guys was successful then these guys will make sure that your stock is always on the shelves within the reach of the customers. And after those you finally go to the customer, most people have this misconception that when you sell you just pitch to the customer and then make sales, while true it's not the whole truth as you have been seeing. The truth is you pitch to a whole lot of people before your product gets in the hands of the customers, and for that, we have a little technique that you will find very helpful.
Let’s begin with an example. Suppose you’re a customer and you walk into a store and you have the commodity in mind that you want and you simply go get it. You ask a salesperson for help and instead of helping they immediately start talking about the commodity, either the one you want or some other hot sales item, things clearly designed to capture your attention and make your mind up so you buy that thing. A widely used sales technique which is intrusive and more often than not ends up doing the exact opposite of what you planned. Now imagine that same salesperson just making conversation like you would with if you ran into a fellow consumer, asking you questions about the problem you have and in a way connecting with you on a deeper level. Not even for a second does that salesperson makes you think that you’re being sold to, as far as you’re concerned you’re just making normal conversation. But before you know it, you have bought both the commodity you wanted and something that the salesperson wanted you to buy and all that happened just by making conversation.
As a seller by using this technique you find out exactly what the customer’s needs and wants are, you’re killing two birds with one stone here because not only are you selling but you are actually doing market research as well because the consumer will talk about people he/she knows and what they use and what not. Asking questions and finding out your customers problems and needs, is something that most sales techniques don’t do.
Another technique is to always make a hit wherever you go, suppose you are a small manufacturer and you want your product to make sales so naturally, you would assume that you supply your product to the big stores as they have a large clientele with hundreds if not thousands of customers coming in every day. But your brand is just starting out and so the store owners are sceptical of you and your product. However, there are a few smaller stores where chances are that your product will be a hit and will have record-breaking sales, you will take the smaller stores because even if you are starting small you’re getting tremendous success wherever you go and that is what you should aim for, not size. Start out small, make a good pitch to the distributor who in this case is the store owner and then make a hit.
In the end, it all depends on how you sell, make a convincing pitch, put yourself in their shoes and look at things from their perspective and you will know what they want to hear. Your product is ultimately a solution to a problem; it all depends on how you present it, as another problem, or as the ultimate solution.