Wednesday, 3 October 2007

Sales is about liking and helping people first

I do not understand a lot about sales. I never really do sales before. But I know if I want to start my business one day, I need to at least know a little bit on how to do sales.

But I know that in order to do a good sales, you need to like people. And you need to be genuine when interacting with people, especially your customers. Let's say you hate your customers and you force yourself to deal with them in order to get the business, your expression and body language will show your hatred. Maybe you will wince, or you may look away from them. That is not hard for some smart people to find out through observation or they can just feel it.

Someone who has been doing sales asked me this - "Do you really want to be a sales person (doing business means sales)? Do you want to be forced to associate yourself with people you do not like and live your everyday doing things that you hate?"

This seems like a strange question to me. Or maybe I am just too ignorant of things. I never really feel like I will hate every people or customers I meet. In fact, I love people. And I know there are many good people out there. I have met a lot of successful and down-to-earth people who are willing to share their experiences or knowledges with you without asking anything in return. I met a lot of people who may not be successful in the larger term but are successful in their own way - people with great family, great friends, stable income, happy, relaxing life. I learn a lot from people who are younger from me also.

Of course, I know also there is a good dose of bad people out there , who may look at every opportunity to take advantages of you. I am not totally naive to acknowledge this.

But if I set my mindset that I will associate myself with people I do not like when I am doing sales, I might as well just go find a job that work with trees. (I posted this before - all the jobs working with trees or dogs are already taken. In every other jobs, you need to work with people). If I have to work with people whether I like it or not, I might as well like it. My thought will be , people who do not genuinely like other people, they are not going to be successful in sales or business, let alone in live. Well, again, I may be wrong. Some people may be able to fake it. :)

During the Mid Autumn Festival last month , I had chance to work on my first sales assignment. It was something impromptu. It started with my friends who said she was able to get a 30% discount on the moon cakes. I asked around and got a few orders. Then , my friend stopped buying (not her fault, :) ) and I found myself having to deal with the manager of the moon cake business directly. The manager also started to pull back on the discount , saying that if I cannot get like 30 boxes of order, he might only be able to give me 20% discount. At one hand, I have people ordering because they want the 30% discount , on the other hand, if I do not have a lot of orders, I will just be able to get 20% discount.

So, I somehow landed myself with a first sales assignment. No profit for myself, just the fun of it.
My quota is to be able to get more than 30 boxes order of moon cakes. If not, I cannot get 30% discount for the people ordering. So, I went ahead , giving people 30% discount to collect the orders. I was prepared to negotiate with the manager to get 30% even if I cannot hit the 30-boxes quota.

The result was I was able to get the manager to give 30% for 20+ boxes without any difficult negotiation. :) And , in the end, I actually got total orders of more than 30 boxes. It was fun trying to hit the quota and preparing to negotiate.

The no-fun part was actually taking the moon cakes from the shop (I need to engaged my boyfriend as my physical labor to load all the boxes to my car and endured his nagging :p. ), arranging and re-arranging all the boxes, calculating the prices, distributing to the people and collecting the money. All for experiences and just helping others but no single cents of profit.

But it was really a nice experience after all. And a good start to being in sales, although I had to say this assignment was really so easy because of the 30% discount.

Let's see when I will beg people for sales. :) But I do not think I will mind to associate myself with people. Much more with I do not intend to dislike them.

Google did not start with making profit. It started with trying to help people search the things they want- started with a great product. Thus, sales is also not only about getting the advantages or profit you want. It starts will liking and trying to help other people also as well as building a relationship with trust and confidence.

My Mooncake Order. :)

Blogging during lunch again.

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