Why is it so hard to remember the fundamentals of selling? Well, it is probably because they were never learned and hence never practiced.
The most important element of selling is to know who your top tier customer really is. The top tier customer is that person who wants and needs your product and is willing to pay the price you set for it so you make a reasonable margin and profit from the sale. These are the customers that keep your business alive.
Knowing why this customer wants and needs your product is important to you so you can institutionalize this promise within your employees and make sure your organization can routinely deliver this promise to your customer. The “promise” sets a minimum acceptable standard for satisfying the customer and makes sure you minimize your risk of losing this customer to a competitor. You should define this promise with your customer as often as you can to make sure that any changes in the market are going un-noticed.
To make sure you can deliver this promise, the organization needs to be able to make the product or deliver the services so defined. This requires a careful balance between the quality performance costs and the risks you take when any shortcuts are used in your delivery. Some companies have set up centers of excellence within their business units to provide the technical and managerial expertise that the promise often requires to insure quality performance. All performance demands standards. All performance demands that people are being held accountable for delivering these standards.
Once the promise has been defined, the centers of excellence created and the value proposition has been confirmed, your people have a plan for moving the business forward. The remaining fundamentals of selling are part of making sure the organization is in place to communicate the promise to the customers, develop the correct relationships to make the program effective, and to properly motivate your own people to make the sales and motivate your customers through pricing plans to buy the product.
The correct way to put this all together is match the activities within the same standards of accountability as the rest of the organization.
Edward A. Sundberg
Joint Managing Director, Gold Gerstein Group