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Be a Superseller


A salesforce that can contribute effectively can do wonders to your bottomline

One of my favourite brand mantras, which I propagate, is that you should ‘have a sales force, which can take tension not pension’. Why do I do that ? The reason is that many a sales force in India are either semi retired or retired mentally. They work, as if they are passengers with nothing much to contribute towards driving sales and feel that the company should carry them along even if they do not perform. This is a typical sales force which is in the habit of taking ’pension’ and not working systematically and hard to achieve sales growth. They are drifters.

Let us analyse and see what type of sales people exist in Indian companies. I must have interacted with thousands of sales people across the industries and trained many thousands more. On studying the sales force behaviour, I have come to the conclusion that there are four categories of sales people in India. The first three are definitely not desirable because they do not contribute much and are in ‘pension’ mode. The fourth category that comes to my mind is the tough sales force which increase the sales and is willing to take responsibility and tension to meet the objective. Let us look at the four categories and let me describe each category for your consideration.

The Postman

The first type – the postman type of sales man just take messages from the company to the trade and the customer at the same time bring back messages from them.

He does not value-add, nor contribute towards demand generation or sales growth. If he is fast he may be a courier but only of messages and not the sale growth.

The Delivery Boy

This type of sales person is slightly better than the postman type. He goes to the market asks the trade or customer as to what they require and delivers the stock or services. He does not ask or suggest to the customers to buy more or to have more variety or range.

He just delivers and is nothing more than a delivery boy. This type can never increase variants or increase sales or does range selling. He is just a “hamaal” or in simple words – a delivery boy. He also is the ‘pension’ type.

The Traditional Salesman

A traditional salesman is slightly better version that the earlier two because he does not sell. However, he does so in an adhoc manner. If he is told to follow systems he comes back with the response which is almost like a threatening blackmail. “Do you want business (dhanda) or do you want systems? If you want systems I cannot give you business and if you want business forget the systems” This traditional sales person is ultimately destroying the progress of the organisation because he does not want to change.

He too is the ‘pension’ mode though physically he does work but mentally has a closed mind.

The Professional Salesman

This is an ideal type. He is willing to take ‘tension’ and be accountable.

He believes that system and business go hand in hand and that both are essential for sales progress. He is one who drives the organisation forward and would be the future of the company.

In fact professional sales people are able to grow personally in their careers. The future lies with them. It is important to become a professional sales person rather than a postman or delivery boy or a traditional sales man.

Many a times, when young sales people join their organisation in the sales and marketing profession, they must understand what trade expects of them.

When a person joins the sales and marketing field afresh, he may not understand the behaviour of retailers and dealers. This leads to a lower productivity and inefficiency.

A few tips and guidelines for young entrants in the sales and marketing field.

Try and understand the behaviour of retailers and dealers and the expectations that they have from companies, sales and marketing professionals.

Dealers and Retailers desire and expect four main things from companies and from sales and marketing professionals.

  • The hope that the company they are dealing with will exist and continue its operations. This is because they have had bad experiences with new companies, which have launched new products and folded up. This has left a lot of inventory unsold at the retailers end with no recourse to anyone. Therefore, they are interested in dealing with the company that can last.
  • Retailers and dealers look forward to having regular supplies. This is because they feel let down if they are not able to supply to the customers after having earlier convinced them to buy the brand. Sometimes a retailer could lose his life long customer due to irregular suppliers
  • Retailers and dealers want regular service and visits from sales and marketing professionals. This helps them to solve their problems and increase product knowledge.
  • They would like healthy margins and good demand for the brands they sell.
Keep the following in Mind To Be Successful With Retailers
  • They must understand the expectations of retailers and dealers.
  • They must cater to these expectations.
  • They must carry a proper sales kit.
  • They must have full product knowledge.
  • They must be trained in selling techniques.
  • They must understand competition
  • They must listen to the needs of the retailers.
  • They must be aggressive but polite.
  • They must develop a relationship with retailers.
  • They must close the sale and get the order.
In the first part of the sales and marketing professional series, please understand retailers’ behaviour and checkup if you are missing any element in the tips. Then go ahead and sell well.

Happy Selling.

The author is Brand Guru Jagdeep Kapoor, Managing Director of the successful Samsika Marketing Consultancy Pvt. Ltd.
Tel: 022 28477700 / 7701 Fax: 28477699 E-mail: jkapoor@samsika.com

Copyright © 2008 All rights reserved with Jagdeep Kapoor, Managing Director, Samsika Marketing Consultants Pvt. Ltd.
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