The Salesperson’s Job
Kotler and Armstrong (2016) describe a salesperson as ‘an individual who represents a company to customers by performing one or more of the following activities: prospecting, communicating, selling, servicing, information gathering, and relationship building.’
Interestingly, the actual words related to the selling part of the sales job are often found quite far down the ‘list of duties’ in the job description! This may work in some retail-type sales positions, however, when you are talking about big ticket items; or volume selling; the job description must start and end with job duties that relate to actually being able to SELL a product or service to a prospect.
To find a salesperson that can start the sales process by opening up good communication with the prospect to find out what they actually want and need; present well; handle the variety of customer objections; and then closes the sale: is a very valuable person to any organisation. Though salespeople are trained, they must also be goal oriented and persistent to attain goals.
A good salesperson is one who is knowledgeable in the product or service up for sale, has a firm grasp on relevant market trends and opportunities in order to be able to advice prospects. He or she needs to be able to resolve possible conflict. The effective salesperson is characterised by unwavering professionalism. That salesperson is truthful, nonmanipulative and able willing to provide aftersales support to customers thereby adding value to the customer over a prolonged period of time.
- To prospect for clients, whether they walk into a store, or the salesperson has to go out and get find prospective buyers.
- Begin GOOD communication with the potential customer. The attributes you are a salesperson that is willing to communicate and can do it with ease.
- The next step is to understand what the customer is looking for, this is part of the above GOOD This can be as small a thing as finding out what colour dress a woman wants, to a very big issue when it comes to selling services, such as Marketing Service Contracts; Website Development; Group Insurance Sales; major Computer Hardware Installations; and so on. To not understand your customers business needs and wants can be a fatal flaw.
- It is important that the salesperson can ‘qualify’ their prospect. The potential customer that enters the Rolls Royce showroom may love the cars, but in this type of situation, ‘qualifying’ is an important step.
- The ability to ‘present’ the product or service. Knowing the product well is important – or in the case of highly technical sales – bringing the appropriate technical expert along who knows the product inside and out is extremely smart tactically. One way or another, a great salesperson must be able to ‘present’ and if he/she has done the first steps thoroughly, then the presentation will be such that it will give the prospect everything that he wants and needs. If the salesperson never found out this crucial information, the presentation will miss the mark and the potential client is sure to have little to say except that he will “think about it” for now. However, if your client begins to ask questions and for clarification throughout the presentation, you know that you have hit their interest level.