Ideas: Selling Snow To An Eskimo!!

To be able to pitch a product for some one else to buy, is a Herculean task . Ever wondered  why, many of the overhyped sales  persons fail ? The reasons are more scientific than you think. It has to do with a few principles,some skill  & a dash of art.

Various stages for the entire sales pitch should be :-

  • Stage 1 – Detailed knowledge  of the product.
  • Stage 2 – Rehearsals.
  • Stage 3 – Arranging a meeting with the client.
  • Stage 4 –  P- check ( Personality / background info about the client )
  • Stage 5 –  Meeting the client / preliminaries.
  • Stage 6 –  Briefing the client.
  • Stage 7 –  Winding up.
  • Stage 8 –  Follow up.
  • Stage 9 –  Actual sale / no sale.
  • Stage 10 – Contact.

 

Stage 1 – Detailed Knowledge of the Product

  1. Needless to discuss,unless you know the product in detail you cannot even venture to sell.
  2. Read, understand  the product,touch ,feel ,smell,listen to some one briefing you about it,visually analyse its colour contrast etc.
  3. Update yourself with the latest information regarding the product in the market.

Stage 2 –  Rehearsals

  1. Rehearse your brief ( sales pitch) in front of a mirror.
  2. Human attention span is fleeting, practice voice modulation.
  3.  Time utiilized in rehearsing is never wasted.

Stage 3 – Arranging a Meeting with the Client

  1.  While opening any conversation over the phone, introduce yourself ( name ) commence with  right time to speak to you, sir /madam ?,  hope I am not disturbing you ?,  if you are busy, can I call you later ? & so on. Make the Client feel, his / her time is important.
  2.  In a one to one scenario,hand over your business card & take time when you can visit the client.
  3. While sending E -mails for a meeting, keep the communication brief, never be verbose or frame long sentences.
  4. Post lunch meetings are more fruitful, as there is satiation of hunger & the client is more relaxed.

Stage 4 – P-Check ( Personality / Background Info about the Client)

  1.  The more information you have about the client ,better will be your outcome.
  2.  Background , family details, strong likes /dislikes if any?
  3.  Eating habits.
  4.  Interest in ,Movies / Music / Art /Hobbies.
  5.  Friends & aquaintances.
  6.  Details of Company,When it commenced operations ? What does your client do ?

Stage 5Meeting the Client / Preliminaries

  1.  Your own personal grooming is of paramount importance, look sharp ,clean & smart.
  2. Do not be sloppy & carry sheafs of paper in your hand, carry all material in a portfolio case.
  3. Look efficient & professsional, shake hands with a firm clasp, look the client in the eye while doing so ( a namaste depending on the culture / client)
  4. Keep your voice soft & not over bearing, smile & wait for being asked to be seated.
  5. Observe the surroundings, it will help you say something nice to the client to “break the ice” & start a conversation.

Stage 6 – Briefing the Client

  1.  Take permission before you begin, Can I start Sir/Madam? Permission to begin ? Is it alright to commence now? and so on.
  2.  Be as vivid as possible. Clients are of three types, Visual,Kinesthetic, Auditory.
  3.   You do not know beforehand your client is of which type?use pictures, graphs, charts & drawings ( Visual), let him touch & hold the product (Kinesthetic) and strike a cord by using good words & phrases ( Auditory)
  4. You are also getting live feedback from the Client & his body language ( nodding of head,leaning towards you,eye contact, alertness etc) modify your  focus as  you go along.
  5. People buy products because they need them,create a need for the product.
  6. The throw of your voice is impportant,for a client sitting close, lower the volume, do not shriek, pitch , cadence,pronounciation & vocabulary  all are important.
  7.  Use power words, new & exciting, clearly ,obviously ,trust,proven, fun, money -saving, healthy, comfort & security , new discovery, happiness & joy, powerful results & value.
  8.   Remember there is great power power in words, do not hitch too many power words together. Never use but as it takes away the meaning from the words spoken before. Example ” I would like to buy this car but I think its too expensive”.
  9. Some  standard jargon:- 
  •   Anchor – Stimulus or trigger assoc with a specific response.
  •   Calibration –  Marking or specifying a response.
  •   Generalization-  A mental rep of a whole category of experiences
  •   Mapping- Indls unique mental rep of the external world.
  •   Outcomes – Desired state of goals.
  •   Reframing – Changing the framework around the meaning.
  •   Presupposition- A useful assumption or belief to adopt.
  •   Strategy- A set of steps that produce specific outcomes.
  •   Submodalities – specific building blocks & qualities required.
  •   Time Line – Specific dates/time for completion of project.
  •   Modelling /Mirroring /Matching -replicating successful behavior.
  •   Congruence – when all responses internal & external are aligned.

 

Stage 7 – Winding up                                                                                                                            

  1. Do not be impatient  in closing /concluding a briefing.
  2. Repeat / highlight the main points .
  3. Asking well framed questions elicits better response from the client & the answers let you peek into his mind.
  4. Thank the client for sparing his time .
  5. Shake hands firmly & leave something for recall ( visiting card /brochure/handout)

 

 

Stage 8 – Follow up 

  1. Immediate – on return to your Office,follow up by  E-mail /Whatsapp/ SMS highlighting  some important aspect /decision of the meeting.
  2. Intermediate – after two to three days asking for covenient time line from the Client.
  3. Time bound – as per time & date given by the Client.Never be late in follow up when a time line has been given.
  4. Save the Clients meeting in brief in your data base.

 

Stage 9 –  Actual Sale / No Sale 

  1. Try to facilitate the process.
  2. Be present to tie up loose ends if the deal /sale is big.
  3. Join in the festivities ( sharing sweets/chocolates etc)
  4. See off the Client with a smile.
  5. In case of no sale do not lose heart, refine your process ,success is around the corner .

Stage 10 –  Contact 

  1. Client relations are built over a long period of time.
  2. A call once in six months to refresh or jog memory of the Client is never a bad idea.
  3. Do not make a sales pitch every time you call, be nice & courteous , make small talk, wait !!.

Be determined in your efforts, because even the Universe falls in love with a stubborn heart. 

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6 thoughts on “Ideas: Selling Snow To An Eskimo!!

  1. Another Kotler in the making. Very practical tips. I shall put them to practice.
    The only point that I wish to add is the increasing use of technology. We need to leverage technology seamlessly and be seen as technology savy. Social media also needs to be harnessed.

    Like

  2. Sir, really a good article. This article also teaches art of mannerism… and these are the essentials to improve Etiquettes….really enjoyed reading this article.

    Like

  3. Sir, really a good article. This article also teaches us the art of mannerism… and these are the essentials to improve Etiquettes….really enjoyed reading this article.

    Like

  4. Sir the article is an eye opener for people like us who are into sales and frequently use the word BUT , not anymore as well as the overall in depth analysis of how to exactly go about approaching a client and coming out of a meeting with a positive answer surely will practice this moving forward.

    Like

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