The Best Salesman in the World

I’ve written before about how selling is all about meeting the needs and desires of your customers and marketing is about stimulating those needs and desires.

Most people don’t realise they have a need until that need arises and then they become very needy indeed. For example, there you are feeling needless and watching your favourite programme on the tele when your TV aerial gets struck by lightning. There is a loud bang, the pictures disappears and a wisp of smoke gently rises toward the lounge ceiling.

This is what is known as a triggering point.

Suddenly you have a need. A new TV is required.

The triggering point for me meeting the Best Salesperson In The World was Christmas. The kids were young and we’d stayed at the in-laws for the holiday. The time had come for us to return home and in packing the car it soon became apparent that not all the presents were going to fit. We needed a bigger car.

The next day we went to a large second-hand car showroom with a choice of hundred’s of cars. We had two criteria. My wife didn’t want a people carrier (she thought them pretentious) and I didn’t want anything that was French. I need to quickly point out that I don’t have anything against our European cousins per se, but I couldn’t get along with the clutch on the work’s Peugeot 307 (my left leg is still considerably stronger than my right leg due to the pumping action). After 30 minutes of aimless strolling around we were approached by the BSITW. After another 30 minutes we drove out in a Citroen Xsara Picasso – a French people carrier.

What the salesperson did was identify our triggering point, asked relevant questions to establish our needs and then used these to handle the objections we had regarding the vehicles shape and country of origin. He had sold us what we needed and not what we wanted. As testament to this, we kept the car for ten years until the size of the kids’ Christmas presets dwindled and/or they could afford transport of their own.

This is where the High Street has the edge over the internet. The internet gives the consumer what they want rather than what they need. This can soon lead to disappointment and dissatisfaction. When someone enters you premises, they are there because they want to buy. Ask them questions, identify their needs and meet them. That way they turn into a customer and who knows, in years to come they may be describing you as the best salesperson in the world.