Sales December 8, 2010 36 Reads share

What’s More Important: The Product Or The Customer?

With sales targets to hit & seasonal bonuses coming up, we all want the best sales figures. When we work for a company we have belief in the product or service. We believe ours is the best out there and customers would be mad not to buy!

Should we not consider ourselves lucky if the customer decides to buy?

I have spent 10 years selling what could be considered luxury items. I now have a team who sell those items also. These products have a personal nature:  cosmetics, perfume, jewelery etc. They can carry high end price tags. They are sometimes bought and never used. (I don’t mind admitting I have bought many cosmetic items over the years that I have never even opened).

With this information, I could create a profile. For example:  young woman, working, buys cosmetics, doesn’t always use them. I could then build a sales strategy from that. Many sales strategies start from customer profiles or potential profiles and the demand for the products. Whilst this is a logical and structured way to approach sales strategies, we are forgetting two important factors;

1. The customer’s actual needs
2. The sales-person

I sell cosmetics & perfume therefore my customer pigeon-hole could be “women in general”, so a man would have no use for my products… WRONG. He may have a mother, sister, wife. We must make a call on our potential customers needs as we meet them. I can’t go prepared with set ideas of who will buy and who wont. I must also be mindful that customers know their own needs and don’t need me telling them what they need.

How many times are Sales Teams taught sales strategies, rather than being taught about the product they are selling? Too many. The product  could be an answer to many  customers’ needs. The answer must be factual and educated, not a chance to knock the competition. It must also be truthful, and if we don’t have the answer we must get back to the customer with it.

It’s become clear to me that our customers are the important factor here. We could have the greatest product ever invented but if we alienate half our potential customers because we think they won’t have a use for it, we are taking from the products’ greatness.

If we realise that our customers are the key to our product and not the other way around, that seasonal bonus should be achievable.

Tori Hawthorne

Tori Hawthorne

The Training and Up-Skilling of your team, whether it is just you a Sole-Trader or you and a team of 200 is vital in the development of your Business. I have worked for over 15 years in Traditional Sales & Direct Sales spheres; I advanced from being a Direct Sales Agent to becoming a Business Development Manager involved in the Recruitment and Training of other Direct Sales Agents. I have developed Sales Training Programs that are effective and fun, bringing Sales Teams together up and down the country. Because I have worked in a Sales and Customer Service capacity for over 15 years, in both the retail and direct sales environments, I have learned vital techniques that can establish Customer & Sales Agent behaviors. This has allowed me a great understanding of Sales Processes. I have gained valuable experience in all aspects of Sales, Sales Training and Customer Service: Sales Pipeline Establishment and Development, Objection Handling, Closing Sales, Business Development, Networking, Customer Service, Complaint Handling, Complaint Resolution, Training and Education of Sales Agents.

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