In the beginning of my career, which was obviously in sales domain, I went through many trainings to enhance my sales skills. Be a fresher or experienced, these sales trainings are extremely important as sales is a continuous learning and everyday changing. The concept and approach in sales change with time and every salesperson should admit it and should keep enhancing the skills.
It is applicable to trainers as well. With the changing time, the approach and content also need to be upgraded. You just can’t be a good trainer for having experience of 30 years and being a good speaker. The past years’ experience makes you able to understand basics but unless “contents” are as per the age, you will be teaching old methods only, which may not be valid today. In India, we often find self-proclaimed Gurus who used to live in past. Are they wrong!! I personally don’t think so. They give best of that time which can be useful in some way. But the validity of those words in the current scenario is a matter of check.
So I was talking about my sales training. In one of the training, the trainer asked: “How will you sell a comb to a bald?”. I was totally puzzled and wasn’t expecting anyone in my group would be able to answer that. But to my surprise, there were 4-5 hands up. I was very curious to know that how someone could sell a product to a client, who actually doesn’t need that. Answer was like
Answer 1: I will tell the bald person that by using this, his hair will grow faster, as this is a specially developed product for Bald.
Answer 2: I will ask him to buy for his family member.
Answer 3: I will say that this multipurpose comb which can be used by a human as well as pets.
Answer 4: I will try to be his friend first by decent chat, then will show myself as an example. I will tell him that this comb helped me in growing my hair. This will give him the confidence to buy.
The trainer, with some expert modification, agreed with answer 1 & 4. Some of you may be thinking of some other answer or would be having your own points. But the point is not that “which answer is correct?” but the point is that focus was on “Achieving goal by any mean.” And there I felt an issue.
Is it a success mantra?
Many sales-persons would be successful by doing this especially if their product is one-time selling. But can they retain the client by making them fool or presuming them to be a fool? I found only Answer -2 to be honest, but it has the restriction of an assumption that the person is having a family or will shop for his family.
Need analysis of customer is totally missing. Yeah, I agree with one point that Goal of a salesperson is to achieve his target by selling the product, but in my opinion, a smart salesperson works on the sustainable market and market networking. These methods might be a hit 30 years back (I have doubt on that too) but today when every information is easily accessible, assuming customer to be a fool, will be the biggest mistake. So make the need analysis first. Does that Bald man really want to grow hair? If “yes”, then check if you have the right product for that, else suggest him some oil or medicine ( genuine) which really can help him to grow his hair. You may lose an instant sale but you will win the trust of the customer, and that will be a permanent thing. He may then buy comb from you for the whole family. And if the person doesn’t want to grow hair then you should not be fooling him. Have a decent chat and he may give you some reference. All that you need to do is to win trust. That is most important, and after that, you will be selling your comb easily with the help of that Bald man.
Respect your customer. Make a right communication bridge, win the trust. Never be a fool to assume him to be a fool. Do proper need analysis and offer gap. You please be an influencer to the client than just being a salesperson.
Sometimes it is good to say that “I will not sell a comb to a Bald man, but will sell with help of him.”