Do Me a Personal Favor...Sell Me
by TonyaWilson, Former Guest Blogger
- Created: December 13, 2011, 12:29 pm
As a marketer it’s extremely important to me that the branding I establish and the promises I make regarding our services are fulfilled on by our staff when the clients come in the door. Marketing and operations must be in sync. When marketing brings the client to the door, operations must open that door, fulfill on the expectation set and make the sale. Here, in his recent post*, Michael Bowers* District Director of the Ohio Small Business Development Center shares his position and experience on the importance of fulfilling on the client’s needs and expectation and making the sale…Typically small business owners dislike sales. They are passionate about their product and how they are going to change the world with what they do but they hate sales. Why is that? I think it is the bad rap that sales have gotten over the years from unscrupulous product pushers. It doesn't have to be that way. You can sell without being a jerk. However, you do need to sell. Typically you need to do something to get the person to buy. Conversations and education is not enough, you need to close. Don't get me wrong you don't have to be "A - Always, B - Be, C - Closing" but you do need to close. When I say closing what I mean is asking for the business. If you don't ask for the business you may not get it. Also, if you don't ask, your prospect may not make a decision and may not get the product. When that happens I blame the sales person for not helping me buy.Here is a story to illustrate:My wife wanted to buy a new car. She had been eyeing a car at a local dealership for a while and finally stopped in to check it out. She test drove the car and really liked it. The salesperson was so low pressure that he was no pressure. My wife told him that she liked the car and wanted to talk it over with me and would call the salesperson the next day. He said fine and that he would be off that day but to just call his cell phone and let him know. So the next morning my wife went to the bank and arranged her financing and called the salesperson to confirm that she wanted the car. She left him a message as he didn't answer. He called her back around 7:00 pm and advised her that the car had been sold earlier that day. We were not happy to say the least. The next day the salesperson actually called my wife a non-committal buyer. In reality her commitment level was never evaluated. He never asked her to buy so he couldn't truly gage her level of interest.The next day my wife went to another dealership to look at a car that she had found on the internet. She spoke to the salesperson and drove the car. When she got back during her discussions with the salesperson it was pretty clear that my wife liked the car. The salesperson "asked" my wife if she liked the car, what the parameters were for buying the car (price, trade value, etc) and if they could meet the parameters would she buy the car. My wife said if they met her parameters she was ready to buy, and she did on the spot. What was the difference between the two experiences? The first person never really tried to get the sale. The second person asked and got the sale. By asking the second salesperson helped my wife get what she wanted the whole time. The first sales person let my wife down by not asking her to buy. Is this happening in your business? Are you asking for the sale? If you believe in your product you want people to buy it. Don't be afraid to ask people to buy your product. By buying the product people can get the benefits that you developed the product to deliver. If they don't buy your product the value that you know is in the product goes unused and you don't want that. Remember, if you want people to use your product ask them to buy and use your product. Many times only if you ask will you be able to determine their interest. Not asking the customer may delay the purchase and you are depriving them of the value you know is in the product.* This hyperlink goes to a non-government website.
About the AuthorAs a member of the Ohio SBDC at Columbus State, we provide entrepreneurial development assistance and business consulting to start-up, emerging, and existing business owners. In addition to one-on-on advising, we create, coordinate and promote programs and events to inspire, educate and engage individuals who wish to start or grow a small business.
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