Whether we are talking about retail sales, trade sales, wholesale sales or any other type of sale, it all comes down to the relationship between the buyer and the seller. The exchange that takes place will determine the future buying habits of the buyer. In a case where repeat sales are potential, that exchange and that relationship has to be the start of something long term. The customer must walk away trusting the seller.
I worked with a sales representative that was very experienced, very energetic and very knowledgeable about the products. Customers loved him. He had worked for competitive companies in the past and had set his sights on working for this company. He was now ready to settle down and make this the job to retire on. With his maturity, he had enough time left to really make some money for retirement. For the first 12 months, even if the customers liked him, they were not buying from him.
I spent some time visiting customers with him trying to analyze his relationships. He was very congenial and the excitement about what he did, what he sold was very obvious. Too much so. His energy level was such that he was overwhelming his customers, finishing their sentences and knowing what they wanted before they had a chance to tell him. The comfort level of the relationship was not there. Also, his experience with competitive products required him to regain the customer’s trust with a new product that he had formerly competed against.
As I coached him, I found it necessary to go over the same topics repeatedly. It had to sink in. We went on some calls together and replayed each call going over in detail what he had said, what the customer’s comments were and what he had actually heard. It can be amazing that with two people in the room with one customer, how different we each hear the customer. We went into details about the customer’s tone, facial expressions, sitting or standing posture and so on. All these characteristics mean something to the observant sales person. They send a message about whether the customer is buying into your communication style or trusting you. Herein lies the key to your goal. Gain the customer’s trust and he has a partner for his business and you have a repeat customer.
Within six months, the sales representative began earning the business partnership of his customers and the following year increased his sales threefold. His relationships have led to repeat sales and continuous commission checks that have improved his standard of living.
Choosing the right people to lead your revenue generating team is one of the most important aspects of your business. If you look for someone who you can get for cheap, the results will reflect his cheapness. Most of the time, low paid sales people are happy with low pay. This is not a good characteristic of sales people. Look for people who are money hungry and are trustworthy. That is a healthy combination. They will strive for every sale, not take no for an answer and will cause you heartache from time to time. But they are worth it. If your sales people make themselves rich, you will benefit.