I had been hunting for a laptop for over 6 months; that brought me in close contact with some cool and some not-so-cool salesmen. We are all salesmen in one or the other way.
- When you are at an interview, you are trying to sell yourself to your employer.
- Marketing your blog is like selling your ideas for indirect returns.
- Media Advertisements are the virtual salesmen; they try to make us believe that their product is something without which we can’t live without.
Maybe it’s the expose to the global audience and the power of twitter, or maybe some money power, I found that I have grown myself into more demanding customer who didn’t want to compromise on anything. Whatever it is, I found some salesmen better than the others, here is what I learnt on my way.
Common Sense is something which they don’t teach for MBA
You are not the only guy who can spell “checkoslovaskia”
The first shop I went was the same place where I bought my desktop PC. I had known that guy for some 5 years now, so naturally, I trusted him. But he took me for granted which was ok with me at first, but I got pissed of in the end. I think he thought I wouldn’t think of another dealer, but he was wrong, I didn’t buy my laptop from him.
Lesson: Never take anyone for granted.
Don’t be the Smart ASS
I know that we all do business for profit; I didn’t go to any shop with the hope that he would give me a laptop for free. But some guys tried to make me feel as if they were doing a service to me, tried to make me believe that they are not taking any profits. What did they think?
Lesson: People are not dumb; never act smart.
People always like to see the Green Room
One of the salesmen I met, he told me how the system worked. Am not sure of the figures, but he was humble and told me some behind-the-scene stuffs. I talked with him for just about 25 minutes, and I started trusting him already. Well, Trust is good for business I guess. But of course, it depends on what you are selling. Telling others everything is not always a good idea, but it works at times. 😉
Lesson: Transparency helps in building trust.
Be a Walkie-Talkie – Not a Radio
The golden rule of great conversations is to be a good listener (Dale Carnegie). I liked those people who would listen to my needs; I guess everyone would love that. I spent more time with salesmen who listened to me, and more importantly, with those who took interest in me.
Lesson: Be an active listener.
You need to Customer as much as he needs you
One salesman never agreed with whatever I said, he said I was always wrong, that the machine I was looking for was not available in my country yet. How ignorant was he? I had got the quote from at least 5 other of his competitors and he says it’s not available? He lost a customer instantly. He should have at least made and attempt to tell me that there is a better model available.
Lesson: Never contradict anyone on his face even when he is totally wrong, be diplomatic; use your head.
One wrong Nail on the Deck – And down goes the Boat
I went to a dealer from where I had previously bought some hardware and modems. But then it was the shop owner who used to deal with me. When I went there this time, the owner was out of station, so an employee took me over. He knew nothing about selling a product, he scared me off, and they lost the order.
Lesson: The strength of the chain is in its weakest link. Hire the right employee and make sure he can do the job.
Let my wife do the Kissing
Most people would love to keep their personal life private. In the hope to build a better relation, some guys tried to ask me a lot about my life. Why should they care about what food I eat every morning? I would have loved if they told me how a quad-core processor would have been a better choice.
Lesson: Do not try to get too personal, because if you fail to do that, you actually fail at your job.
Raw Fish Tastes Good
I wanted a freaky laptop; I decided to get a Red colored one. One guy started telling me why a Red color would be a bad idea. I appreciate his views; Red wouldn’t look cool at a professional meeting. But hey, I am not going to Google with this laptop to discuss why they should give me PR10. Suggestions are good, but why should he bother to argue with me?
Lesson: Suggestions are OK, but boss is always right!
Don’t try to be the Big ‘D’
I don’t look like a grown-up myself, I don’t dress like one, and I don’t want to be one anytime soon. But hey, that doesn’t mean that I don’t deserve the best. Some guys failed to see that I was a potential customer and treated me as if I came there to ask for help. I helped myself out of the shop asap.
Lesson: Never under-estimate anyone. These days’ kids use iPhone to do math.
Money Speaks the Loudest
Money is not everything, but it is something. When you are selling the same products, a competitor with a lower price would definitely sell more. So when you price your products, learn the prices in town. Your customers are not dumb, give them the best deal and they will love you for that.
Lesson: Price your product well, more people would choose a cheaper product, if all other metrics are the same.
So that was the buying experience. Finally I ordered a Dell Studio 15 Laptop direct from Dell. Am waiting for the delivery, which might take over a week. Fingers crossed!