This question when asked by my clients, I am reminded of Marshall Goldsmith’s book, What Got you Here, Won’t Get you There! One of our clients nominated his star performer, Akshay for our training program. The main reason being he was not able to reach his desired targets in selling high-value capital equipments, the way he was selling laptops and mobiles in his previous organization. It is generally believed that a great salesman can sell anything to anybody. Translated otherwise, most of us feel that a great salesman is the one who can sell a refrigerator to an Eskimo. The above statement is not true for the following reasons:There has been a paradigm shift from a Sellers’ to a buyers’ market. Today’s customers have more choices vis-à-vis their counterparts in 90s.
- Thanks to internet, today’s customers are knowledgeable. A person before buying a mobile or a car has done enough research on the net comparing products technically as well as commercially.
- If you try to sell something a customer does not need, there is possibility the customer express his anger and frustration on twitter/trip-adviser etc. and in no time the contents may go viral.
- In a low-value sale, generally the customer knows what he wants to buy and the interaction between the salesperson and the customer is transactional. The salesman needs to inform the product features, the price and the competitive comparison.
- In case of a high-value sale, or a key account sale, quite often the customer may not clearly know what he needs, he may have a vague idea. He needs a solution not a standard sales pitch. Precisely for this reason the salesman needs to be an active and empathic listener and also willing to probe deeper. He also needs to understand the customer’s business that is customer’s customer. Here the interaction is more on relationships. You will observe that the some of these competencies can be acquired but others are natural traits like strategic thinking. This is one of the reasons why a Star Performer in Small Sale may not always succeed in high-ticket deals or Key Account Management.
Paradigm Trainers Private Limited is having training programs on Key Account Management and Advanced Negotiation Skills in Bangalore ( 14/15th Nov.) and Mumbai ( 21/22nd Nov.) for more details : www.paradigm-info.com