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25 Dec 2013

Believe It of Not: The Best Salesperson is Not From Your Company or Industry

As a boss or entrepreneur, you could be your company's best salesperson as no one understand better than you what you are selling.  That was what the CEO of Apple, Steve Sculley, thought in 1983 when he promoted the Macintosh computer.  But we know that the Macintosh failed miserably, and by 1997, Microsoft and IBM-compatible computers took over 98% of the market share.

It seems that the best salesperson can never be from your company or your industry. Unbelievable but true!  That's right, the best salesperson is actually your customer.  When Steve Jobs re-joined Apple as its interim CEO in 1998, he realized this and focused the entire company's operations to nothing but the customer. Not just focus on the customer, but focus on the customer's experience.  Once he does that, Apple's products, from the Macintosh to Macbooks to i-Pod and later i-Phone and i-Pad, sell like hot cakes.  By 2011, Apple has become the world's most valuable company and remain roughly in this position until today 2014.

Indeed your customers are your best salesperson.  Firstly your customers will recommend other people to buy your products.  Secondly, a good salesperson realizes that he never sell anything; he just create the right conditions for customers to buy by themselves.  With that a good salesperson can even sell ice to the Eskimos! Thirdly, once your customer is loyal to you, he will keep on buying your products no matter what.  Just look at those people who upgraded from i-Phone to i-Phone 5s and you'll know what I'm talking about.

How to make your customers become your salespeople?  There are 5 ways that we teach in our sales courses: 
  1. Create an Experience that Others Talk About.  We know that Experience is the highest level of consumption (with raw materials at the bottom, followed by goods and services)
  2. Ask for Referrals.  This is so basic what you'll be shocked that 99% of salespeople don't do this.  The best time to ask for referrals is when you've closed the sale, just ask and you'll get referrals.
  3. Leave Something in Your Sleeves.  That's right, don't give them everything and create expectation that more is coming, and your customers will simply hold on looking at other vendors and wait for your new release. Just look at Samsung Galaxy S4 and Note 3 and you'll know what I'm talking about. 
  4. Stand for Something.  Customers like vendors that don't just sell a product but stand for something.  With that you'll create a buzz in the market and that become your free word-of-mouth advertising. Stand for something can be being the first mover, like what Apple done to smartphones, or you can do like what LG does now, build the world's first curved smartphone the LG G2 Flex. 
  5. Deliver a D-Grade Product.  D stands for 'Damn Good'.  When your product is good, it sells by itself.  Isn't this the most obvious but overlooked point?
By Andy Ng, who is considered as Singapore's Trainer that does the most sales courses.  For details, click here

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