Thursday, July 14, 2005

The philosophy of selling

I’d gone shopping on Saturday; walked into a music shop and asked for a particular CD. There were two shop owners/employees catering to customers. One of the men looked around for the CD that I asked for and came back after a few minutes and informed me that it wasn’t available with them. I was about to ask him for the second one in my list when the other man very quickly lifted a whole set of CDs and placed them before me and said “How about some new Hindi CDs ma’am?” Now, I normally browse through CDs whenever I go to a music shop and apart from planned purchases, I do pick up some things on an impulse as well. But on this occasion, I had no plans to spend more than what I’d intended to. So, I ignored him. Meanwhile, the first man who’d looked for the CD I wanted got angry with his sociable colleague (the second man) and said “Give only what the customer asks you for!” I somehow found that response to be intriguing. I did not exactly agree with his ‘philosophy’ even though I did not want to purchase other CDs. These two men had opposite approaches. While one wanted to push and cross-sell, the other, if you like, believed that the customer knows best and one ought to respect her requirements/decisions. What do you think?

4 comments:

Veerapathiran said...

people have written books on "How to sell when customer says NO"..clearly from business point of view thats the best model :-)

be it cd shop,medical,cloth etc i've seen salespeople making customers to look at more than what they've come for..and make them buy too..

Deepak Alse said...

Well, I'd rather support the cross sell guy. Some of my best purchases have been through a cross sell! Even if I may not have bought the object at that moment, it has sometimes spurred me to look at other options!
What's life without a little help?

Sarita Shekhar said...

Well, it depends on very weighted factors. Like if the customer has the time, he/she would love to see a range and probably hit on something he/she has been looking in years. But it all boils down to one primary factor in salesmanship that is, "the customer is the king". Being in customer support myself, I follow this principle in utmost regard, but have my own alter ego to listen to when I am back home. To me there are purely only three character types, "Hoard Roark", "Superman" and "Bill Gates" - a curious mix of them all should I guess make a salesman (Don't spank me!)

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