Typically the word sales & selling would conjure the image of a fast-talking car salesman, or the couldn’t care less departmental store assistant. Let us help change your view.
When you hear the word “SALES”……
What would come into your mind? Neatly dressed car salesman? Or blonde-haired Ah Beng selling pirated DVDs? Or those peddlers who sell pens table to table that annoys you?
What is selling?
How often do you encounter a “slick” car salesman, pushing you that shiny new car? Or that fast-talking insurance agent, pushing you that RM500k policy? Or maybe that scruffy mechanic saying that parts of your car must be replaced?
What about your daughter asking if you would need help in the kitchen, and after dinner asking you for an iPad “Pro” for her “school needs”?
Or, your husband of 15 years, having forgotten your birthday for the last 15 years, now told you that you do not need to cook on Thursday evening and that he will pick you up from the office for dinner – the kids are all taken care of – just 2 days away from your birthday. And yes, he had booked a staycation at Fraser’s Hill for the weekend.
Which one is selling?
What is “sales” to you?
Which one you see as “sales” from the examples above depends on your experience with salespeople. Most of us often encountered the first and second examples.
But, what if in the third example, your husband just wanted to treat you well. He apologized for not being attentive for all these years.
I am sure that some women will be thinking, “What did he do this time? Is he thinking of getting another wife?!!!”
Is it not possible that he really wants to show you that he loves you?
For most of us, “sales” is about “salespeople” attempting to get us to part away with our hard-earned money.
But is that what you think when you walk into the Apple Store, drooling over that new iPhone 12? Had anyone come to you and talk to you about its “features and benefits”?
Or when you drove into Ah Hong’s workshop – your favourite mechanic and workshop – because you felt something was wrong with the car; you just told Ah Hong, “Please check and replace whatever necessary. I’ll pick it up by 6 pm”.
These are sales too. However, these “sales” are done differently. The key to that is the care and a certain level of trust had been established between:
- Apple and you.
- Ah Hong and you.
Ah Hong is my favourite mechanic. I would park my car at his workshop, drop my car key in his mailbox and WhatsApp him what I think might be wrong with the car.
He would in a day or two inform me what he’d do and I’d just pick up the car when I got back from my trip.
There was an instance when I ran out of funds, I only had RM2000 for the repair, but it cost RM3800. He told me to hold the payment first and drive the car for two weeks to make sure that the problem was gone. If I was happy, pay the RM2000 first and settle the balance in the next month.
I am sure that you have met people like Ah Hong, but the question really is, “Are you an Ah Hong?” or, “Can you be an Ah Hong?”
Ah Hong made his sales, continuously by giving the best service and building trust over time. He never had to do a “trial close” with me. For ALL repair and maintenance work, I sent my two cars to him regularly until both were sold off.
But you say, “Ah, but that is a workshop. I am a tailor making baju kurung.” Or “I am making and selling keropok lekor.” And so on, and so forth.
I can give you stories and examples of a tailor, a hairdresser, a valve salesman, or a software and data services salesman – the last two being myself.
Another perspective to look at sales…
Are we the first (car salesman) and second examples (daughter wanting an iPad)? Or can we treat our clients genuinely like that caring husband?
I would like to urge you to look at sales from another perspective – CONNECT, HELP, and SERVE.
In my example with Ah Hong, there was another workshop about 200m from his workshop and there were also a few more within less than a 5km drive. I have tried others and one was even an authorized workshop for the national car for cars that are still under warranty.
Ah Hong even told me to take one of my cars there while this brand-new car was still under warranty. I took his advice but as soon as I was able to, the car came to Ah Hong!
Ah Hong spent time chatting with me from the first time I ever brought my car to him, and my wife too. He took time to understand what we do, our typical day, how we typically drive and use the cars, our typical daily mileage, etc. He took the trouble to advise us on our driving habits so that the cars last longer, especially the tires and gearbox.
My wife had an old Proton Wira. While some parts were readily available, there were some repair works that required a bit of ingenuity on Ah Hong’s side. The easiest way for him was to recommend and send us to another workshop, his friend’s maybe. But he took care of it all. Once he diagnosed what needed to be done and pointed these out to us, he would walk us through the steps and took care of it from there.
We knew that for some work, Ah Hong hardly made any money. From previous experience also, most other workshops would simply decline to do it. But Ah Hong would take the car key from us and fixed the car. He took our worry away from us and deliver the car back to us, in good condition.
Our main job as a salesperson is to find, know and understand what the challenges are faced by the client, then take the worry away from them and deliver the solution or the challenges solved to the client.