We are living in the most informative and digitalized era, where on the touch of the screen, we can access all the latest and relevant information about the products, we are planning to buy. Be it a mobile phone, car, laptop, flat or anything else, its features, reviews and every relevant detail about the product are just a touch away. Such a luxury of information was not available a decade earlier, where any salesperson having superior information could have coaxed or tricked us about the product and its price.
The 21st century have transformed the old-age caveat of Caveat Emptor to Caveat Venditor because now consumers have massive information, abundant choices and large number of sellers from whom he or she can buy. The author, Daniel H. Pink in his book, To Sell is Human, The Surprising Truth About Moving Others provides a fresh perspective on how to sell and move others in this 21st century. The success mantra in selling used to be ‘ABC’ which denoted ‘Always be Closing’ but today in the times of abundant choices where consumers have access to information and various sellers, the new meaning of ‘ABC’ is Attunement, Buoyancy and Clarity.
Do you know that Jeff Bezos has made it a practice of keeping a chair empty in his most important meeting at Amazon? The reason is to remind the executives about the most important person in meeting: the customer.
‘Attunement’ simply means the ability to imagine what other person is feeling, understanding other person’s perspective by getting inside his head and seeing the world through his eyes. Researches demonstrate that those who attune to others’ perspective are more likely to move or convince others to buy their idea or product because they are understanding the needs from buyer’s perspective.
But how do you ‘Attune’ yourself with others perspective? The answer is by reducing your power. By assuming that you are not the one with the power and you are in a lower position, than other whom you want to move. By reducing the power, you will be able to sense what other is feeling and thinking. This is the reason, why researchers claim that neither extroverts nor introverts but ambiverts are the best salesman as they are more likely to understand others’ perspective and pitch their ideas.
Another method of ‘Attunement’ is by mirroring other person speech patterns, facial expression and behavior. It is proven that negotiators who mimicked their opponents’ mannerisms are more likely to win the deal. Needless to say that, such mirroring should be subtle and requires deftness, otherwise it can have opposite effect of turning people against you.
Studies confirm that waiters, who repeat diners’ orders word for word, earned 70 percent more tips than who paraphrased orders and in another French study on retail salesperson, it was found that 79 percent of customers purchased from ‘mimicker’ compared with 62 percent from ‘non-mimickers’.
In selling, a salesperson faces a lot of rejections and refusals, but a salesperson must keep himself motivated. ‘Buoyancy’ means having unshakable belief in one’s confidence to sell and an indomitable faith that one can succeed. It is proven in research, that a salesperson who saw rejections as temporary rather than permanent and external rather than personal are more successful. Jack Ma, Jeff Bezos, Steve Jobs and many more failed at one point of time but they kept going.
What is common success factor in all this valuable startups like Oyo, Paytm, Amazon, Unacademy etc. these days? They found out the right problem which need to be solved. Salesperson are always skilled problem solvers as they can assess and analyze their prospects needs and deliver the solutions but today in such fierce competition these days, a salesperson success depends on finding the right problem which need to be solved.
Often clarity depends on contrast, because we often understand something better when we see it in comparison with something else, so always try to create your offering, product or idea different from others and something unique to carve a niche for your idea or product.
And most importantly, ‘Serve’
If you selling just for the purpose of earning like those cunning traditional salesman, then your success will be limited. But if you want to achieve something greater and create a more enduring business, then ‘Serve’. Standard room quality, cataloging all products on web and delivering products to home, instant payments, online classes etc. are unique and different ideas which solved many problems of customers and such ideas created a niche and flourished.
‘Serving’ means doing more for the other person than what he expected, by taking the extra steps to transform a transaction into a memorable experience by creating value in consumer life by best price, better quality of products and unparalleled after sales service.
If you are working on any idea or thinking to start one, just ask these two simple questions-
If the person, whom you’re selling to agrees to buy your product or service, will his or her life/experience improve?
When the transaction is over, will the transaction create value or memorable experience for the consumer and will he come to you back again?
If the answer to these questions is ‘Yes’, then continue with your idea and if the answer is ‘No’, then you are not at par or above with your competitors.
This 21st century has revolutionized the way of doing business from traditional stores to e-commerce to the world of startups offering unique products and services. Intense competition, dominance of established players, financing issues and business viability are some issues but to create a niche and flourish in this modern world of sales, remember success lies in solving customers problems and serving customers interests, while striking a balance what other want and what you can provide them.
Before saying Adieu…
The Author strongly emphasizes that we all are salesman in this world, including those who operate in modern offices or cubicles working in 9-6 job. We, all are selling and exchanging ideas, persuading bosses and serving clients which in broader essence is art of persuading, influencing and convincing others to buy our ideas or information.
So attune yourself to customer perspective, solve their problems and serve their interests!
Stay tuned for next article, till then stay safe and curious.