In this fast-changing professional world, a new ‘competitor’ is born every day and because of a large number of available options, the demands and expectations of customers are reaching new heights. Hence keeping your company and its products on top, has become an ‘on-going struggle’ for businesses. Though the techniques, methodologies and experiences of the business world have transformed a lot in the past few years, the mantra remains the same. A ‘successful’ businessman is only the one who knows how to ‘sell’ his product, no matter the market situation.
To understand it more let us imagine a scenario:
It’s a weekend afternoon and there is a working women with children, who is struggling hard to balance her home life on the weekend. In a perfect world she will be able to have her home and family demands in place by the end of the day in order to get ready for her busy work week ahead. But she also hopes to save an hour or two of her day for things that she enjoys, things that are not errands, maintenance, or work. As many of us do, she is working like a super-fast train to get all of it done as fast as possible.
This is a common scenario and is one with which many of us can identify in the parenting world. But what if the doorbell rings in the midst of all of this controlled chaos? A sales-person, who may be one of the best at his job, is going door to door to sell product. What do you think would be the common reaction to an interruption of any kind during this situation? Assuming it were me, I would get frustrated and turn away the guy saying that I am too busy with my own stuff to find time for him.
This is where a true salesman can shine.
With an excellent sales person, not only will the customer listen to the product description for many precious minutes, they might end up recommending his product to a few of their friends. So what do you think can cause this tiny miracle? The answer is the sale’s person’s customer communication skills.
Powerful customer communication skills work like a charm. Apart from having the product knowledge and the details about the company selling it, one should also have tactics to convince the customer in a way that they don’t feel as if they are being convinced of anything at all. In layman’s language you might be the best person who knows all about a product, its benefits, mechanism, operation, policies, warranty, flaws and drawbacks, etc., but you might not be the best person to sell it. The only thing you lack is communication skills, the skills to engage your customer and convenience him or her to buy your product.
But how do you engage your customer in such a way? Where do you learn these skills? Customer communication skills cannot be taught, it comes within. No one can provide you with scripted words to converse with your customer, as every situation is different. If you rely on a script, you will collapse when the scenario brings you off-script. Instead, a mentor can help you practice your skills by generating various situations and giving you a taste of reality.
The three keys to be a good communicator are observation, presence of mind and experience.
• Observation: You need study the situation, to quickly grasp mood and personality of the customer and begin conversation with what might interest them at that moment. Like the sales person in our example may have judged from the women’s face and tone that she may be frustrated and in a hurry. He might have shown concern about her busy schedule and appreciate her for managing everything well. Perhaps he would grab her attention with products that might help her to quickly complete home maintenance tasks and save time for herself. Bingo. The customer couldn’t reject the concept out of hand, as it pertained to her current situation.
• Presence of mind: In case the salesman would have started straight away with the product description and not tried to be engaged with the customer, the customer would have turned him out at the door, straight away! Instead he talked to the customer, became a part of the solution to current struggles, suggested assistance from one of his product and made the customer feel special. In other words, he built instant rapport.
• Experience: Experience is the most powerful way to learn. If you are one of those people who evaluate their experiences and try to learn from their faults, success is around the corner. A good sales representative should learn from each of his experiences to avoid repeating the same mistakes in the future. You might be a sales person, a customer care executive, the manager of your department or the CEO of your company: If you know how to sell your skills and talk to the customer, you are well on your way to professional success.