. What problems do you see with Stone’s first sales call? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? Feeling confident without being very well prepared. Running behind schedule & being caught in traffic. Arriving late & expressing her anger instead of apologizing for it. To build rapport she thought it was a good idea to have a little chat about her college, then when she realized it took a lot of time she switched back to business. Starting right away to talk about the details & benefits of her product, she didn’t apologize to the manager for being late.
Controlling the conversation for 25 minutes then asking the manager if he had any questions. Leaving the product samples at home. Lying to her customer when asked about the turnaround time from order to delivery. Thinking of covering up her lie by blaming it on the company’s production department later. Not being able to justify clearly why her product was slightly higher than competition, thinking that she gave him enough information & reasons for that. 2.
If you were Stone’s sales manager, what would you recommend she do to improve her chances of succeeding? Since this was her first sales job, she should have been more prepared. Taking a sales course & the company’s training aren’t enough to succeed in a real selling situation. She still lacks the field experience. Being confident is good, only if she is well prepared. Small or big, a customer is a customer & both should have the same attention & preparation effort.
She must do whatever it takes to make sure she gets to her appointment at time, and if she is late, she must apologize and wait without being angry, she can’t get mad at a customer (even if he is wrong). Once she sits down for the meeting, she has to start with a brief introduction about her company, Giving the customer any relevant information about the current market place because they expect salespeople to be knowledgeable about market opportunities & relevant business trends that may affect customer’s business.
In this case she should have talked about the increase in new – home sales that leads to increasing refrigerator sales, such information is of a great importance for the customer & could have made him more interested in her presentation. She must conduct a sales dialogue that focuses on the customer, define his needs, explain the value he can receive from the company & have the customer verify the value he can receive instead of dominating the conversation.
She should develop a better listening skill; she must be a better listener than a talker. She must make sure that she has got whatever will support her when going for a sales presentation; in this case, samples of the products would have enhanced her position & would have spared her the argument about the company’s prices being higher (Maybe the samples would have proved for the customer that the products are of better quality than those of the competitors, thus justifying the higher prices).
She has to be customeroriented, honest & dependable in order to earn her customers’ trust; therefore it isn’t acceptable to lie to them under any condition. She has to understand that she can’t work alone, her job is integrated with other business functions & without that she won’t be able to meet the marketplace expectations, she must know that even if she blames it on production, this still affects the customer’s operations & accordingly the overall image of her company & its long-term trust based relationship with the customers.
A salesperson who is effective long term is also an effective team player. She has to be always ready for the customer’s questions. She must demonstrate knowledge about her products and their competitive advantages that might justify their higher prices. She must make sure her presentation was clear & that her customer did grab the information required to make a decision later on.