Don’t find customers for your products; find products for your customers – Seith Goddin
I once had a colleague who worked in my team. His sales performance had a pattern which depicted poor performance in the area of cash collection. His cash collection figure at the end of the month was usually not more than 20 per cent of his total sales for that period. Paradoxically, his sales within the same period were somewhat high! He sold large volumes of products without collecting money that was proportionate to the sales. I noticed this pattern when he was assigned to my team. The happening continued consecutively for two months and I decided to investigate the matter personally.
I made the staggering discovery that the salesman was always desperate to sell at the end of every month in order to meet up with his sales target, without necessarily bothering how to receive payments for goods sold. His interest was just to make sales, even if it meant selling to the wrong category of buyers. His concern was to sell and save himself from any trouble that could come from management as a result of poor performance. He usually begged buyers to buy his products just to record that he had made sales for that period.
I call this type of selling, “dumping of products.” Buyers in this case are not usually in a hurry to pay when the product is dumped on them. The reason is simple: they didn’t buy the product in the first place. The product was ‘forced’ on them! Therefore, they will pay at their convenient time and the payment time may not be in the nearest future. Dumping is not selling.
Sell professionally and avoid dumping
Dumping happens when the salesman fails to make himself and his product attractive to buy. Once the salesman fails to give the prospect sufficient reasons to buy, the prospect will lose interest in the product.
Sales folks should follow the professional sequence of selling and win the prospect to their side. The product should not be forced on the buyer. It is immaterial whether the action (dumping of product) is aimed at meeting a sales target. Professional selling is beyond sales targets. Professional selling encourages mutual relationship of win-win and not win-lose.
Successful sales folks make their products and services desirable. Once the salesman makes his products and services attractive to the buyer, the opportunity to sell is usually high. Making your product attractive could be the way it is presented or the way the salesman goes about his selling activities. You must sell your product as if it is the best product in the world. Sell to give value. Give buyers reasons to buy. Show them benefits in the product.
Don’t price yourself low
A salesman who dumps his product has priced himself, his company and his product 50 per cent less. Most buyers will not be in a hurry to pay for a product that is bought on sympathy or a product that is forced on them. This is a sensitive area in selling. The activity of buying and selling is a serious business. It is not a form of charity where people give away gifts and will not expect returns.
Average salesmen often find themselves in the dilemma of dumping their products. Don’t be in a hurry to sell just for selling and record-keeping sake. Sell like a Pro! Let buyers see and feel the values you are bringing to the table. Let buyers buy your product because of the benefits in the products and not because of pity the salesman wants to attract. Show them the reasons to buy. It is only when they see the reasons to buy that buying decisions are made.
When the salesman is at the mercy of the buyer, payment for products bought may be delayed. Take the driver’s seat. Be in charge. Don’t be desperate to sell.
Be a sales pro!
Sales pros follow the rules. They sell on credit too, but they observe the rules of the game. Their credit sales have defined payment procedure. Sales pros know that selling is not complete until payment for goods bought is made. This is not the same for average salesmen who dump their products because they are desperate to write figures in the sales invoice.
When you sell on credit, ensure that you follow company’s policy on credit sales. Follow through and ensure that payment is made within the approved period. This is how to sell like a pro.
Desist from dumping of your products! Dumping is not the same as selling. Dumping depicts desperation. I have maintained that buyers don’t buy from desperate salesmen. They buy from sales pros.
Selling champions are not desperate salesmen. They are sales pros. They know how to achieve great results. They don’t dump their products. They put a lot of value on themselves, on their companies and on their products. They sell great products and services. They love their jobs and their customers. They don’t dump products. They sell them!