Mixed-Bag of Articles of every type. Go through this section and you will have the world to Explore.
Put your customers first
Customers buy when they are at ease. For a salesperson, that means meeting a customer at a time of their convenience and venue of their choice. Your communication style also needs to be catered to their liking. If a customer wants to see hard copies of your offer (brochures, for instance), make sure you carry some. If they want to review your material before meeting you, be prepared to e-mail it to them and then follow up.

Good salespeople treat their customers as top priority because, without them, there would be no sales. Your reason to sell may not be the customer's reason to buy. People buy for their own reasons, not yours. A salesperson needs to come to terms with this fact soon. I assumed people go on a holiday to take a break and rejuvenate, so I would keep reinforcing these points. I was wrong though, as I have seen people buy holiday packages as gifts, just to spend money and, in some cases, even get away from their wives!

I get her point. I may like strawberry ice cream but, if I bait fish with it, I will return home empty-handed. Worms may gross me out, but do the trick while fishing. So, it pays to give the customer what they want, rather then what we like.

Emotions first, logic later
While a lot of books and sales gurus recommend we focus on the 'pain/problem area', it is important to remember that emotions are what people buy. Identify an emotion the customer can readily relate to.

Benefits sell, features tell
A lot of salespeople have been conventionally told that becoming a product expert is the only way to achieve higher sales. While this is partially true, there is a risk involved. Salespeople often indulge in what is called 'Feature Dumping', where they start dishing one feature after the other with little regard for the customers' actual need.

Avoid storytelling and share the key benefits. Deeksha recommends the '2+1 closing rule'. Share 2 key benefits, 1 strong feature, then make a closing statement. I buy her point, but ask if there is a way to figure out what the key benefit is. She tells me to take any product and ask myself two basic questions. As an example, she uses the coffee shop where we are sitting:

. Question 1: What's in this coffee shop?
. My answer: Coffee and a good ambience.

. Question 2: What's in it for you?
. My answer: A place to meet friends after work and unwind.

30 seconds or get lost

We live in an age of information overload and our minds are cluttered. Being simple and precise is a valued skill today. Most salespeople talk too much and such verbal diarrhoea is of little use. Customers and clients will judge you and your product or service within the first 30 seconds. If you can't get their attention in the first 30 seconds, they will press the 'Get lost' button in their minds.

Prepare a short sales pitch you can share when you meet a customer for the first time. Customers buy you before they buy the product, so pay attention to what you wear and the image you project.