“I don’t compete on the same level as others,” a participant in my sales training session proudly explained. “I ask the client what he wants, I give it to him, and in the process he naturally opens the account, which is what I wanted him to do in the first place.” If you were wondering what a selling tactic or strategy is, now you know. So, what is your selling strategy?
Personal or core selling strategy or techniques
The salesperson, who was explaining this, sells for a bank. He went on to explain how he finds other salespeople struggling to get a prospect to open an account, something he used to do, as a selling tactic, but quit. He quit because it wasn’t working for him. He explained that he asks his prospect what it is they need from the bank, which is usually either of two things: a facility (loan) or a current account. The reason why he doesn’t start with the account is because, he says, it’s a ‘tired line’; “the prospect already has an account he is probably happy with and it’s an uphill task getting him to move. If he wasn’t happy with the account”, the salesperson explained, “he would say, or act it, and I would then, and only then, bait him with it.”
“Otherwise, when he explains the type of loan he wants, to buy a car or fleet of vehicles; to pay for his insurance or buy off another more expensive loan; to set up a business or businesses; almost anything that needs funding, really, I explain we offer it. Which we do. And when he is happy I’m giving him what he wants, opening the bank account as a requirement to getting what he wants is a natural progression, a blip in the sales radar, a downhill task.” Talk of killing two birds with one stone! I chose to take this lesson from him: as a salesperson what’s your strategy to selling? Examples abound of successful individual or businesses’ selling strategies or tactics (plan, methods). Cross-selling, by Wells Fargo, for instance; unethical, though it was.
Selling tactics examples: President-Elect William Ruto win
Whatever your political inclination, or thoughts around the just concluded 2022 elections, Kenya’s President Elect was been declared by the IEBC as William Ruto. Admittedly, the country is still reeling from his win. Not because the competition flawed his selling strategy so much as because he was up against the incumbent’s favourite (Raila Odinga), who, by extension had state machinery at his disposal. And, and this is the point, the competitor’s selling strategy was more inclined to maligning William Ruto than it was promoting Raila Odinga, especially in the crucial Mt. Kenya region. (See last week’s post)
Your selling strategy can’t be maligning, or gossiping about, the competition. William Ruto’s selling strategy had already won him seats in Kiambaa, Msambweni and Juja by elections. Against all expectations, it was working. And it continued to, all the way to the Presidential elections. A political analyst commented of his party UDA’s selling strategy: “United Democratic Alliance has employed a consistent method to defeat the Jubilee Party in 3 consecutive by-elections in a span of only 7 months.”
Sales tactics psychology…what is your selling strategy?
Then there is the pediatrician who gives sweets to his patients after every visit; and the nyama choma establishments that entice you with a piece of meat the moment you look their way; or, the newspaper vendor who bills monthly because he has found this working more effectively than billing daily. What’s about you; what’s your selling strategy?
At a renowned nyama choma tourist destination they keep piling you with meat till you stay STOP! Their counterpart’s, though being a shack (a small business nonetheless) keeps piling you with ugali till you stay STOP. So critical is the latter’s sales tactics, it has a name for it: ugali surwa (free bonus ugali). Admittedly, with the rising price of flour, the surwa is not as easily available and so this strategy must change. And that’s just it; when the strategy (plan) is not working, change it. What about you? What’s your sales strategy; is it working?
A similar establishment, only this one specializes in kuku choma sells only by referral. The lady owner knows all her client’s by name. She has no walk-in customers-all her sales are made on order. It’s close to ten years now, her prices are easily 20-30% above the average, but again, almost a decade later, she has an enviable growing number of feet trooping to her establishment. Getting referrals is her selling strategy. What’s yours?
Importance of sales tactics
Without a selling technique you are gambling. A selling strategy is how you get organized as a sales person; it will focus your efforts and optimize your time management. And judging from the foregoingit need not be as elaborate as the sales tactics in a business plan that your employer would have; or the government would have for the country; no; just a simple (in hindsight) way of selling that repeatedly works. Like the salesperson, in the opening story however, you will most probably find that you will have to kiss a few frogs before you find your prince; you will make some errors before you find the one that works for you and your prospects.
Study the successful salesperson you admire; he most certainly has a selling strategy. Find yours; and when you do, I look forward to you proudly stating, “I don’t compete on the same level as others…”
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