Tailor the Sale
I was watching a feature film on cable TV, It's a Great Feeling, staring Doris Day and Dennis Morgan. Doris is sitting outside the train station in Los Angeles. Three little Mexican children approach her with their musical instruments. They offer to play a song for her for ten cents . . . or leave for 15 cents.
Dennis Morgan happens along and wants to talk with Doris. He tries to shoo the children away. Again, they offer to play a song for ten cents . . . or leave for a quarter.
I like the sales points this scene illustrates:
The children knew what their services were worth.
They knew what actual services they were selling.
They knew it was a fluctuating market.
They knew that as soon as the demand changed, the prices could change.
They knew demand changed with the customer.
In short, the three Mexican children knew how to tailor a sale. Many people in sales don’t understand that.
There is a complete training series (eight programs on tape or DVD) called The Principles of Sales and Marketing: The Power of Ethical Selling. This series outlines the principles that should underlie all sales and marketing transactions. One of the sales training videos in the series is Tailor the Sale.
“Each individual has distinct wants and needs. When a salesperson has properly tailored a sale—chosen exactly which points to stress and which to de-emphasize—the customer feels that the salesperson has taken the time to create something that will address his or her particular needs. This program presents concrete methods that show salespeople how to approach the sale, listen to and assess the customer’s needs, tailor the sale to the customer, and "read" the customer for his or her reactions.”
– Program description from Tailor the Sale
Tailoring the sale starts with knowing your customer and their needs AND adjusting your approach.
If a sales person can’t tailor the sale to meet the needs of their customer and the market, then that sales person should perhaps take up guitar and learn a few songs . . . I know a few.