Change Your Attitude Towards Selling And Advance Your Career

Customer facing staff can tweak the gaps in the system and bond with the buyer…Educating customers on how to use products can also lead to repeat sales

Dear customer interacting representative,

You don’t have to sell, to, er, sell. The misconception that selling is not for ‘us’ but ‘them’, and that “I don’t know how to sell”, is the cause for many lost sales by you. These reps could be technicians, in customer service and even accountants. So, because you say you cannot sell, here are four things you can do.

Share information

To the patient who is on life-long medication the representative at the pharmacy shares, “I know it limits you’re travelling having to come every month to pick your medicine because that is the way the insurance company has it structured. Tell you what, it doesn’t have to be month on month-just come every day this week for four days and I’ll see to it that you get enough for the next four months.” Customer facing staff can tweak the gaps in the system and bond with the buyer. The rewards of such bonding inevitably lead to repeat sales. That’s why you most likely  have a favourite representative (usually in the service industry) whom you’d rather deal with.

Ask a question/make an observation

The buying company orders twenty five high-end smartphones. The members of staff at the back office of the selling firm engage with the buyer to see the sale through as regards delivery and payment. Instead of blindly packaging and dispatching the phones, the simple observation, “The phones would look even better if they had covers,” (or “last longer if they had screen protectors”) could get you an extra sale. So too the question, “May we send you a quote for phone covers branded in your company colours for you to consider?” No slickness, no fast talk, just a genuine observation and/or question on how value will be added to the buyer. With no feeling of pressure from the buyer’s end, odds are they’ll say yes. And another sale is made.

Offer alternatives

The buyer writes complaining that his internet speeds are slow; he cannot stream movies. It’s the second time he’s doing so. The representative rolls her eyes and writes back saying that, “the bundle you are on cannot allow you to stream,” and copies a ink of the terms and conditions page for the client to read. Instead try: “Sorry to hear that. The current bundle can only receive emails and so unfortunately the problem will persist. Tell you what. Why don’t I upgrade you to streaming status and conclusively resolve this problem.  It’ll only cost an extra 1000shs a month on your current bundle. Is this ok?”  In the initial response, the assumption was that the client knows the bundle they are on can’t stream and they are just being difficult. This is not necessarily true. How much do you know, for instance, of the kind of medical cover you really enjoy, until you are hospitalized and are told, “Sorry your package doesn’t cover that”?


This is perhaps the most powerful technique you can use to sell, without selling. While busy installing the company wide software or system, the technician (while tightening a screw) points this out: “The way your network was installed has been overtaken by time. Whereas your system is compatible with ours now, in about six months there’ll be a mismatch.  You see, this junction box, here? It’ll give way because it will have outlived its usefulness. Accessing it has taken us a day; why don’t we replace it now when we can than when we must? It’ll save you a day of work disruption and an avoidable cost.”

All four techniques solve the buyer’s problem which is what he wants-not to buy your product.Many others exist.  If you still cannot use any of the four then perhaps your problem isn’t inability, but a toxic attitude. And that, my friend, is a limiting career move.

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