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The sales process is always a challenge for the salesperson. The ability to sell a particular product requires special knowledge, skills, and even features of character. Salespeople face a lot of difficulties during the sales process. In the following paper, the process of selling Florida Cane Vodka to Boca restaurant in Tampa will be evaluated and analyzed.
Peculiarities of professional sphere
The first distinguishing feature of selling is that this sphere is highly competitive. There are thousands of sellers for all existing products and services. One faces a fierce competition while entering the particular market. In the video under evaluation, drinks are being sold to the restaurant. Selling beverages is a competitive area too.
The salesperson has to be able to present that his drink is better than others, and it should become a part of the menu. In the video, the salesperson manages to attract customer’s attention to the fact that they need flavors to make a restaurant a better place.
The second distinctive peculiarity of selling is that there are no exact rules of behavior or approach. There are general theories concerning sales process or ways of approaching clients. However, every sales manager happens to participate in different situations.
Thus, it is necessary to understand emotions and character of the client. Every salesperson is a psychologist to some extent. In the video under analysis, sales manager realizes that his client is a serious person. Consequently, he speaks directly to the point and asks right questions. One may conclude that business partner appreciates speaking right to the point and time keeping.
The accomplishment of particular goals often depends on salesperson’s ability to utilize both verbal and non-verbal language efficiently. A professional should be able to control language, gestures, and look respectful. What concerns verbal language, there are both advantages and disadvantages. For instance, a salesperson uses grammatically correct language and expresses ideas clearly.
However, short pauses between utterances create the atmosphere of uncertainty. Body language has pros and cons too. Sales manager employs gestures that render the feeling of openness and frankness such as showing palms. Nevertheless, he also plays with his pen nervously from time to time. This sign demonstrates anxiety.
Darin George writes about the peculiarities of the profession in general. He pays attention to the fact that most sellers do not necessarily have education related to marketing. Many sellers have a diverse educational background. The important thing is to realize that selling is not merely a job. A career presupposes the increase of revenues and constant improvement of one’s abilities and skills (George 10).
It is significant to be aware of all necessary elements of the sales process to be able to analyze the video correctly. The sales process can be defined as a combination of particular actions and steps aimed at finding the client, demonstrating, and selling product or service. Basically, the sales process is divided into four major parts. They are the introduction, needs, presentation, and close. Some authors identify other steps. In addition to four described steps, every sales process should start from the product knowledge.
Thus, the primary task of the salesperson is to know as much information as possible about the product for sale. This knowledge is significant for being able to conduct and maintain an active dialogue. In the video under evaluation, the task of the manager is to be aware of types of vodka and their appropriateness for the particular type of restaurant.
A salesperson should know all benefits of his product. However, it is not enough for the successful business deal. One should always remember that customer may ask “So what?” for everything one says (“The 7 Steps of Sales Process” par. 1-2). Thus, it is advisable to have ready answers to this question concerning every feature of the product.
The next step of the sales process is prospecting. It is about looking for new customers. It is not as simple as it seems at the first sight. Prospecting requires time and energy. The identification of the target audience and analysis of the potential customer are crucial for the successful goal achievement.
Thus, one has to know customer’s probable desires and needs and try to choose the most appropriate approach to the presentation of information and establishment of contact (“The 7 Steps of Sales Process” par. 3-4).
The third element of the sales process is directly connected with the communication with the client. An introduction is about finding the approach of communication and presentation of the product. For instance, one may call to the customer while the other salesperson prefers face-to-face communication while making deals. Depending on the chosen approach, the purchaser may consider salesperson’s offers to be bothering or, on the contrary, worth his or her attention and time.
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The next step is to listen to customer’s needs. This phase is believed to be the most important part of the sales process. The assessment of needs requires attention, developed listening skills, and quick analysis of the situation. During this step, a salesperson may demonstrate the value and usefulness of his product. The seller has to identify primary problems of customer and provide possible solutions. The most efficient way to assess needs is to ask various questions and make logical conclusions.
When customer’s needs are assessed, it is time for the sales manager to make an offer. The important thing is to modify an already prepared presentation to meet client’s needs. Presentation part should not sound like the monotonous monolog with clichés. It should be a discussion and vivid demonstration of benefits and features.
The close is the final stage of the sales process. It presupposes making an order. It can be rather a challenge to receive a definite agreement. A salesperson may be told something like “I have to think about it”. It is a signal of uncertainty, and it is the must to make everything possible to change client’s opinion and intention. Close is about overcoming objections and receiving exact facts of the offer. No promises to call or write should be accepted. A professional seller knows that this does not bring desirable results.
Advantages of sales process
In the following part of the paper, advantages and disadvantages of the behavior of the salesperson will be identified. Every stage of the sales process will be analyzed separately.
The salesperson has a good knowledge of the product in the video. It is seen that he is prepared for the presentation and knows benefits of his product — Florida Cane Vodka. The prospecting process is not included in the video.
However, it is mentioned that the salesperson has visited customer’s restaurant and, probably, noticed that there are no Florida Cane Vodka and flavors. Taking into account salesperson’s way of behavior, one may assume that he tries to create a comfortable atmosphere for the client via speaking about restaurant and food in general.
The introduction is the first step that can be evaluated from the video. The first advantage refers to the choice of approach. Face-to-face communication in rather informal settings creates the positive attitudes towards each other. A salesperson provides the customer with basic information about himself. Then, he gradually directs the conversation to more informal settings. Speaking about dinner at the restaurant and commenting about food is a useful technique.
The client starts talking about the primary advantage of their restaurant, and this information will be further used by the sales manager. Other advantages refer to the following step of the sales process — assessment of needs. The right thing is that the salesperson asks various questions. He does not focus only on drinks. He commences with a general question about the uniqueness of restaurant to understand client’s attitude towards his business.
Then come exact inquiries. The positive thing about these questions is that they are diverse and address different aspects. Besides, the salesperson makes notes, and it is a useful habit to remember everything when presenting the product. The presentation part is based on client’s answers. Thus, the sales manager makes emphasis on the fact that their product is local and organic. The close is efficient because it leads to the fixed agreement — signing a contract and naming the number of bottles that will be bought. Besides, the organization of testing for client increases the confident opinion about the deal.
Disadvantages of sales process
Although there are many advantages, it is necessary to mention some flaws in the process of interview. The first minus concerns the verbal and non-verbal language. Thus, the salesperson makes pauses, and this silence is a sign of uncertainty or not knowing what to say next. It does not look professionally.
The non-verbal language should be monitored as well. Thus, nervous playing with a pen is also a negative sign, and it may distract the client. It seems that playing with a pen cannot cause serious damage to the communication process, but people perceive such gestures on the subconscious level.
Despite the fact that questions are diverse, some of them are not appropriate for the efficient interview. The aim of the meeting is to receive as much information as possible. The interviewer should ask open questions that require a detailed answer. The sales manager asks several closed questions. For example, the question about the usage of local products is a closed one.
The client can answer “yes” or “no” to it. Also, the interviewer should not ask questions that already contain the answer. The usage of leading questions can mislead to wrong conclusions. For instance, when the salesperson asks about night and morning shifts, the question contains answer at the same time. The last negative thing about questions refers to their appropriateness.
The salesperson would like to know the number of employees working at the restaurant. However, the reason for this question is unclear. Nothing is mentioned about employees in the presentation part. The aim of this inquiry is indistinct and lost.
During the presentation, a salesperson tries to do his best to provide all relevant information about the product. Sometimes, this information lacks preciseness. For instance, he mentions the number of awards, but this fact does not make a good impression on the client. It has been already mentioned, that the presentation of benefits should not be a monotonous monolog. In some parts of the video, it seems that the salesperson dwells on already prepared phrases and does not take into account customer’s presence.
The close should also be analyzed from the perspective of its disadvantages. There are moments when the customer starts to speak about his initiative to buy two best sellers. It is good for the contract, but the salesperson should have proposed its first.
Suggestions for improvement
The sales manager in the video is prepared for the presentation and knows how to attract the attention of the client. However, he should take into consideration several suggestions. First, it is necessary to improve speech. No pauses should be made as far as they can negatively influence the consequences of the deal.
Second, he should work on his body language. It is advisable to start talking in front of the mirror and observe usual habits of behavior and gestures. The most important thing refers to questions. A salesperson has to evaluate every question. It is necessary to be ready to answer “So what?” question for every inquiry. Finally, one has to avoid questions that already contain answers and closed questions to improve the efficiency of received responses.
Sales representatives always face numerous challenges when trying to sell some product or service. In the video under evaluation, the salesperson knows how to present information and receive an order. Nevertheless, one has to improve presentation skills for the better performance.
George, Darin. Sales Process: Can you Sell Me a Pen? Bloomigton, Indiana: AuthorHouse, 2013. Print.
The 7 Steps of Sales Process. n.d. Web.