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  ARTIKLER » A GOOD SALESMAN   NYHEDER
 
Most people envy a good salesman. He looks great, dresses well, smiles easily, drives a snappy car. He’s glib, a wonderful raconteur full of new jokes, a great networker. Some people say he’s not very deep, but could that possibly be because they’re a bit jealous? He does seem rather thick-skinned though, for nothing appears to stop him from pursuing the sale.

The following is a condensation of a talk given to the Sales Master Club in Tampa, Florida. The theme of these meetings is always the same — how can we be better salesmen? Is there even one new idea we haven’t tried?

One aspect of the profession that may escape some salesmen, and that is the actual motivation of the prospective buyer. See if you agree with the following, in which I use the male gender for convenience.

Most people envy a good salesman. He looks great, dresses well, smiles easily, drives a snappy car. He’s glib, a wonderful raconteur full of new jokes, a great networker. Some people say he’s not very deep, but could that possibly be because they’re a bit jealous? He does seem rather thick-skinned though, for nothing appears to stop him from pursuing the sale.

But to the non-salesmen in his company he can be an awful pain in the neck. Managers are turned off by his wanting to sell what the company doesn’t have instead of what it does, and furthermore he wants it yesterday. He tends to exaggerate. Ever the optimist, his projected sales for a new account can be divided by the hairs on his head for better accuracy.

Accountants have a real problem with him. The two are entirely different personality types. It’s the classic administrative - versus - sales psychology. But even the marketing manager seems at times to be closer to the accountant than to the salesman.

And let’s not forget the purchasing agent. He is the person to whom most sales are made. He likes salesmen as a rule, because they are always such nice guys, bowing and scraping and paying compliments. In fact, if it weren’t for his wife’s more realistic attitude toward him, the purchasing agent after some years in the business might understandably begin to feel omniscient, for the sales types always seem to agree with everything he says. In fact I have known a few good purchasing agents who, envying the life of the salesman and wishing to join that happy fraternity, have gone out on the road only to learn the shattering truth about life in sales. It can be awfully lonely out there.

So here is my advice— when you barge in cold trying to sell to a purchasing agent for the first time, adopt the psychological attitude that he doesn’t care if you live or die. Realize that the best thing that could happen to him that day would be for you to drop dead right in front of his desk.

He would then be the hero purchaser who was so tough at his trade that he caused the salesman to have heart failure. He could call 911. Paramedics would rush in followed by media people anxious to interview him. Then he could run out to tell the world that he has done what no other buyer has done.

Of course I’m being facetious and don’t mean that literally. I’m only describing the proper psychological stance for you as a way of keeping your ego from soaring off into the ionosphere every time you start pontificating about how great you, your product and company are.

Remember, this is not an adversarial relationship. For the truth is, he will only listen to you if he sees you bringing value into his life. And if he’s worth his salt he should be the kind of buyer who is a real valuer, only willing to trade up, never down. In other words, will your goods or service be of greater value to him than the money he pays for it? If not, he might as well not spend the money at all.

It is quite proper ethics that you as a salesman should pursue your own rational self interest. But remember the same is true of the buyer who, by pursuing his company’s self interest is pursuing his own as well. The proper sale has to be a win-win-win situation.

I have seen many salesmen who made the mistake of viewing the close as some kind of moral as well as financial victory. A close can be a great feeling, but it’s even better when the salesman realizes that his success has been in answer to another man’s following his own star. In short, view its not as your victory in a zero sum game, but a mutual victory where everyone wins.


Kilde: Stuart Daw, 1997, d. 10. maj 2003
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