11.4. Sales representatives and their requirements
In the modern economy of the country, perhaps no one activity does not attract as much attention as sales. This is not surprising when you consider how many people provide a means for directly or indirectly due to sales. And even those who are not directly engaged in the sale, regularly participating as buyers.
Of all the forms of sale close is the relationship of the seller with the buyer, inherent in the process of personal selling. After all, for most enterprises and organizations that produce and/or sell products, sales representative/seller is the only important element that unites them with the buyer. Even the best designed and complex marketing efforts can fail, if it is inefficient work of trade representatives in the process of personal selling.
The nature of this process, management and basic operations we examined earlier. So now the main attention turn on the key figure of the process of personal selling — sales representative, in which foreign practice is often called a commercial agent. The current Ukrainian legislation does not clearly define the nature of a personal sale of its subjects, but used the common name of “seller” and “buyer”. The economic Code of Ukraine highlights the notion of “commercial agent”, but it is understood as a business entity, which provides commercial mediation.
Trading employees of enterprises-producers and wholesalers that carry out personal selling products, fulfill more various and specific functions, combining mediation and direct sale. Therefore it is advisable to call sales representatives or sales agents.
The basis of successful activity of the trade representatives are: product knowledge; knowledge of the buyer; knowledge of sales techniques using psychological instruments of influence on clients; self-management.
Old adage says: “a customer buys benefits, not product features”. Therefore, the trade worker is not enough knowledge about the characteristics of the goods, he must prove his value and benefits that the product gives to the consumer.
There is a significant difference between the buyer-a representative of the company and individual consumers. A sales representative must find out who is the main person when deciding about buying and talk to her in a language she understands better.
Technology sales involves the reaction to the actions and customer questions, counter-questions, description of benefits that will provide the goods to the buyer, and the like. Sales representative must be an enthusiast of what sells, enthusiast of your enterprise, and be interested in the client. All buyers like to feel important and to have the impression that they made favorable or at least fair deal.
Self-management means that the sales representative is guided by the rule “customer is always right”. Therefore, it needs:
listen to what they say and understand their problems;
to attract the customer’s attention with something interesting and unusual that is inherent in the proposed product, to pay attention to details;
to take care of customer problems, to provide useful services, demonstrate the benefits and advantages of the goods;
treat the consumer as an individual, to create business and at the same time friendly atmosphere that the client, even refraining from buying, wanted to meet again;
to maintain contact, because any contact with the client, not an attempt to sell something, will be highly appreciated;
to hold back, serving rude customers. Be polite and firm at the same time in respect of the objections.
It is very important to do something that is not often the competition is doing. For example: to interest passive customers to notice your product, even refraining at the moment from buying; try to keep the “inconvenient” customers, that can benefit in the future, because such buyers often become “loyal customers”.
Experts recommend sales reps to adhere to the following principles:
to do everything in a timely manner;
to deliver on their promises;
not to say too much and many;
to be accommodating and friendly;
to do what the competition is doing;
sincerely interested in others and not just themselves;
to speak and write correctly;
to dress modestly, but with taste, the clothes do not distract the buyer’s attention.
Sales agent must be a good marketer to know what the pull factor (the product, customer value, price or incentive) is essential for the client and the sales representative firm. So he should be able to use the tools of psychology and sociology to identify the psychological type of the personality of the buyer and on this basis to decide how to prove the use value of the product, its benefits for the client. The importance of continuous emotional encouragement of the buyer (this is referred to as “Pat”, “to cuddle”). In the process of personal sales, this means emotional support to the consumer; smile, eye contact; gestures of openness and sincerity; compliments. Detecting the type of the potential buyer, the dealer should take it into account during the presentation of the goods.
An important feature of the sales representative is persistence. Encourage the potential buyer to make a decision to spend a large sum of money is not too easy. It is therefore important perseverance to overcome the price barrier.
Experts advise to use such techniques during the discussion of this vulnerability in the act of sale and purchase:
don’t need to name the price before the potential buyer will be able to evaluate the benefits of the proposal;
selling an expensive item, it is advisable to split the price into components or to display it for the whole operational period. As such, the proposal will be perceived much calmer;
be sure to call an exhaustive list of special benefits (advantages) that they will receive the buyer for the price;
whenever possible, the price should be called compare-
analyzing it with the prices of competitors;
when the buyer starts to bargain, the sales representative needs to show he can be go to a meeting, but in exchange for certain concessions on the part of the buyer;
wherever possible, it should replace the words “price” and “pay” on the revolutions like “investing as much you can …” or “having invested so much, you instead get …” and the like.
Whatever the result of negotiations, a sales representative needs to restrain their emotions, to remain calm and to act, as always, professionally. The end of the meeting should be such that the interlocutor it was nice to see him with another occasion. It is important to realize that along with the goods are always sold by the image of the trade representative or his reputation: it is better to lose money than the trust of the buyer. Any buyer is the employer who pays salary to a sales representative.
At the same time, the sales representative should remember that the most valuable to him are:
customers with permanent demand for the goods that it offers. He must know their concerns, interests and desires, to help solve and gain the respect and trust of these clients;
heavy customers. After some effort and perseverance a sales agent has a great opportunity to establish strong business contacts that can later turn into real friendships;
new customers, new competitors developed services and tools to promote the product.
The best salespeople know how to look at the world through the eyes of its customers. Nowadays consumers tend to find business partners. And only the sales representative will achieve success, who will always remember what the company in which its clients operate, and make every attempt to help them in this activity.