Water Well Journal

June 2015

Water Well Journal

Issue link: http://read.dmtmag.com/i/515025

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Page 43 of 107

F or the past two months we have talked about the market and the mechanisms to develop in order to manage and control market coverage. We've found out there is a lot of busy work to do. I hope you've gone through the exercises and calculated the poten- tial business within each of your market segments. I trust you've considered the market potential in how you review your customers and their purchases. How did you do with each segment in market capture rates? The purchases of parts and the pur- chases of service also determine the type of salesperson you should assign to each customer. There are individuals who are great at retaining customers— hugging them—and there are other indi- viduals who are great at increasing business with customers. Rarely does one individual have the skills to handle both aspects of the job. So I am going to assume you've assigned customers to your individual salespeople. Now I want to address your sales force. How do you sell your parts and service to your customers? The sales process is interesting. Everyone wants to look at sales as a per- sonality business. And yes, a salesper- son has to be good with people. I can't imagine someone who is good at selling who doesn't like people. Many want to think of a salesperson as someone on a golf course, treating customers to lunch, or meeting after work. Sometimes that's true, but selling is a science—it is a profession—and it's a lot of work. I want to discuss the sales process. In selling, there are six steps: 1. Research 2. Objectives 3. Questions 4. Features 5. Objections 6. Closing Let's look at them now from a slightly different perspective. • Steps 1 and 2 are completed before seeing any customers. • Steps 3, 4, and 5 are the critical few taking place in front of the customer. • Step 6 is the result of all of the efforts that go into the first five. Step 1: Research The research area is a lot of work, and it's tedious work. However, without doing the research you cannot succeed at selling. The better and more complete the research, the higher the probability of successful selling. So, before we do any selling we have to have completed our research. We need to know things like: What does the customer need? What do they want? What are their biases? What are their expectations? Within research we have to cover three areas: • The customer • The products or services • The relationship. It's difficult to sell anything if you don't know the customer. What is the application in which their products work? What are their needs? I think you can see what is happening here. We're building a profile of the customer. This will allow us to determine a sales strategy for each customer. There is a lot to know about your customer in order to be a success at sell- ing. This research is time-consuming. Some of the information is difficult to obtain. We next need information on our products and services. A salesperson must know their products and services. This sounds like an obvious thing. Yet there are many salespeople who do not know the features and benefits of the products and services they sell. Product research is not complete unless you have also completed the research into all of the major competitors, and their products and services. Now we need to do the work on the relationship we have with the customer. • What do they buy from you? • What don't they buy from you? • If they don't buy something from you, where do they buy it? • What is it they like about who they buy it from? You also need to understand those experiences the customer has had with you over the years. • When has the customer had problems? • What was done to fix the problem? • Were they satisfied with the solution? There is a lot of hard work here. The salesperson has to know a lot, but I can't imagine any salesperson being a success without having all this knowledge. Step 2: Objectives Next we move to setting sales or pur- chase objectives for each customer. This is another critical element in becoming a success at selling. You have to know RON SLEE THE AFTER MARKET THE MAGIC OF EFFECTIVE SELLING The customer is not sold on anything, but they buy everything. 42 June 2015 WWJ waterwelljournal.com Product research is not complete unless you have also completed the research into all of the major competitors.

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