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Mastering the sales pitch
Illustration by Jaykee Evangelista
Jan 11, 2012
A common scene at the store: Customer enters. Salesperson approaches with her usual “bili na” welcome. Customer brushes off salesperson and continues browsing alone.
The customer’s reaction may seem a bit rude, but reasonable. Unless they have a question or need help, most customers would rather do without the sales routine. They don’t want to listen to another hard-selling pitch or have someone trail them around the store.
So what’s a salesperson supposed to do? Well, they can continue their age-old, ineffective, and irritating way of approaching customers, or they can try the following pieces of advice to see to it that the customer is comfortable, interested, and ultimately taking out his wallet to make a purchase:
• Dress the part. Good grooming is important in practically every job—but even more so in sales. Salespeople are at the front line, and give customers their first impressions of the business. So, look your best and put on what’s most appropriate for the job. If you are selling apparel, take special care with your own clothes and appearance.
• Believe in your product or service. Ginny Nequinto, Philam Life sales associate, says, “If you yourself are not convinced of your product or service, how will you be able to convince others? In any business, your credibility is important. Don’t say things that you won’t be able to support, or you will eventually embarrass yourself or tarnish your name.”
• Have a good offer. According to The Irresistible Offer by Mark Joyner, customers usually have four major questions in mind when approached by a salesperson: “What are you trying to sell me?” “How much is it?”, “Why should I believe you?”, and “What’s in it for me?” Therefore, Joyner stresses the importance of having an irresistible offer—a product that is both attractive and useful. After all, a customer can spend their hard-earned money in other ways; give them a good reason to spend it on your product or service.
• Consider their time. People usually don’t have the whole afternoon to listen to a sales pitch. Make sure the person whom you wish to talk to is free and willing to listen. “It’s usual for a client to already know the background of your company and products, and would like to go immediately to the cost. This is not a bad thing—he probably doesn’t want to waste time,” says Nequinto. “But if a client has only 10 or 15 minutes to spare, perhaps you can re-schedule the meeting because chances are, he will not focus his attention on what you will be presenting.”
• Customer care—really. “Clients usually sense if you are just after their money, so get a little bit more personal with them. For example, if family is important to a female customer, then make her see the importance of your product not only to her, but to her family as well. That is where building rapport comes in,” says Nequinto.
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