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Why you should trust salespeople


For some reason we New Zealanders tend not to respect the job of sales.  Strange given that the economy for centuries has been based on buying and selling goods and services.  Whatever the reasons for it, when we think ‘sales’ the words “pushy”, “snake oil”, devious, “underhand” will come to mind.  Do you recognize in yourself the behaviour when you enter a shop and you try not to catch the eye of a salesperson? You want to browse in peace without them trying to sell you anything! 

I decided to step back and test out if this is sensible time saving actions, or really just making the task harder.  Should we be trusting salespeople?  They should know everything we want to know about the product we are considering buying. 

These days, it doesn’t matter what you buy, there is a wide range of brands, models, features and price.  I think we all have experiences when the cheapest definitely wasn’t the best, so we sort of know that (although we wish it wasn’t true) and we also know that a brand alone doesn’t guarantee quality or performance.  So, then we get down to models & features. To make a good purchase decision that meets our needs, we need to learn about the different options of models and features available. 

How to find out, at the level of detail we need to understand to assess if it meets our needs, about a range of products we might be considering?  The internet generally is where we go, and the seller of each product will have some way of explaining the features of their models and how they compare – not always easy to understand exactly how it would suit you though.  But it is hard to compare between brands.  So we look for those sites like Pricespy that do the legwork for us.  All well and good for a feature like price that is easy to compare.  But what about “follow-up service and support”, “ease of use”, “how does it fit with other things I use” – very hard to get this level of detailed understanding. Although you can find some information it usually isn’t detailed enough.  A bit like asking a consultant who may have seen a range of things that various clients use, but they can’t afford the time to really know in detail about everything. 

So why not ask the salesperson?  Test out how well they know their product.  What smart questions do they ask you to understand what your need is, and then be better able to explain how their product will meet that need.  Give them the opportunity to sell to you – if they do this with integrity, passion and knowledge, and are ready to say “I don’t know the answer to that, let me get back to you” – why not trust them?  Why not short-cut that process of finding the right product to meet your need by talking to a few salespeople and then deciding for yourself based on solid information. 

Sure, there are salespeople out there that just want to make their numbers and so are burning the opportunity for repeat business if they convince you to buy the wrong thing.  But these people are less and less.  Sales is a profession, and a great salesperson can earn good money and – most importantly – they are serving their customers every time they work with them to make a great buying decision. A great salesperson is always working to find out how they can serve you better.  They want to do so not only for this purchase, but the next one after and so on.  They know that if they do a great job for you, you will tell the people in your network about them and their product. Win win. 

I challenge you next time you are considering buying a product that is new to you, or you want something different from the usual – go direct to the source for the best information. The salesperson. 

Let me know how you go! 

 

Bridgit Hawkins

CEO/Executive Director