There are a few things to get straight about my job: I love sales but not selling and I really hate salespeople. I had the pleasure of meeting a gentleman at an expo tabletop event hosted by a local chamber, whose type you might have already met. He coiled and attacked the second I gave my friendly hello (I was tired and read to just meet fellow businesses, not be sold.) Not a good start. He had on a full suit and in 30 seconds told me about every disease and industry report to back up his holistic product claim- of which there were at least 25 to listen to…I was drowning and he was bombing. The only was I could escape- and at this point it was considered escape- was to grab his card and say “Thanks I’ll check out your website.”
I was also approached by a community-based group looking for volunteers and fundraising for an event they were promoting. Also selling but very differently. They were obviously not professionally trained sales people. They dressed nicely but wouldn’t be called ostentatious and when they approached me (more than twice) I was happy to talk to them because their demeanor was easy and pleasant. It was the difference between being approached by honesty rather than an obnoxious pitch. But what was the real difference? The man in the full suit was not listening to my needs, he was telling me about his product, waiting for me to respond to him. The community group was listening to my answers to see if we were a good fit. See the difference?
I was called by an ad sales rep a few weeks about putting an ad in their paper. The woman used the same old tired line, “I’m just down the road right now, can I stop by?” after I repeatedly told her no thanks and just to send over info- she then proceeded to ask me if I was going to actually read her pamphlets so she wouldn’t have to waste her time. Phone call over. You might be in sales but you are not inhuman. I like to work with this philosophy: If I lived where I work (and I do) treat everyone like you are going to run into them at the grocery store. It happens. Don’t be a jerk and don’t focus solely on your needs in sales.
When I deal with businesses (and normally they are looking to save some precious money in their budget) I’m looking for two things and neither one is a sale. One, I’m looking for an office manager that will know the difference between buying locally and just going with anyone barking about a good price. The second, I will ask for a list of printers to give a business our current prices for their specific machines. After that my job is pretty much done for the selling part. Our customers are very intelligent and know what makes us different. We offer a full service printer-based coverage. Basically when you bring home the printer from the store you can count on us for making it successful the rest of the way.