Mr.Ram is the Sales Executive at a regional paints company. He goes to the dealer (who is his customer). Starts telling about the products that his company sells. The quality, the coverage and numerous other things. The dealer is not impressed. The quality and price is same for all other companies. Mr.Ram becomes desperate. No sale has happened in the last 2 days. Now he starts pleading. Sir, please give some order. I am lagging in my target. I will lose my job. Ok, I will give you the best discount.
Mr Shyam from another company visits the same dealer next day. As soon as he enters, he asks, I have heard that you lifted the highest emulsion in the entire town last months for African Paints. Congratulations. How did you manage to do this? Everybody likes bragging. The dealer starts talking about his policies and strategy. Shyam listens patently for 10 minutes. Then he speaks – Since you have already purchased Finish paint, I will give you an offer that you cant resist. Along with finish paint of African Paint, sell our primer. In primer people are not so brand conscious. You already know our quality. You can earn more profit of primers, than you can on paint. So do I send you 5000 lts tomorrow.
Focus of Ram is – his company, his products, his job and his interests. Focus of Shaym is – dealer’s success, dealer’s profit. Who do you think has got a better chance at cracking the deal? What do you think interests the dealer more – problems of Ram or his own profits.
The problem is, most of the sales people are like Ram. They are loud and they just talk. Before entering the shop, they practice what they are going to say. As soon as they enter, they just start vomiting. They are not concerned if the dealer is interested or even listening to them. It is as if they will be successful only if they are able to speak.
God has given us 2 ears and one mouth with a purpose. Listen more, talk less. Research has proved that deals close faster if the buyer speaks more. A person can do multitasking when he is listening. But he needs to concentrate fully when he is speaking.
Let him speak. Try to understand what he wants. For most of the dealers, profit is the most important factor. But for some other dealer, he just wants to have the highest turnover in his area. Try to understand what your customer wants. Then give him a solution, how you can help him to achieve his target with minimum effort. Before you realise, you will cross your target.
We don’t realise this, but listening is very tough. We speak so much that we have forgotten the art of listening. Listen attentively, don’t fiddle with your phone when the other person is speaking. Try and listen to the unspoken words. Read the body language of the other person when he is speaking. Infact movement of the body and expression of the face is more important than the spoken words. And you don’t need any special course to understand body language. Just listen with full attention and you will understand fully what the other person is –
- What he actually wants to convey to you
- What is going on in his mind as he speaks
Mastering of this art is needed not just in business, but also in personal life. Most of the times when your wife is complaining to you about something, she does not want a solution from you. She just wants someone who will give her a patient hearing. Your kid has a thousand stories to tell you when he meets you. But he stops midway when he sees that you are more interested in watching Reels then in knowing what happened to him in school today.
So be Mr. Ram and not Mr.Shyam.
An MBA in marketing from Symbiosis (SCMHRD) Pune, Manish Goyal started his paints business in 2003. Currently J.K.Protomax Pvt Ltd is the biggest Regional paints company in Eastern India with factories in Kolkata, Gaziabad and Guwahati. He is also the Additional VP of ISSPA. Beyond business, his passion includes running, cycling and trekking. He is certificate holder for many half and 25km marathons. Currently he is preparing for 42 km full marathon.
He is the founder trustee of Gyandeepak, which imparts holistic education to less privileged children. His recent accolades include being awarded the Best Putty Brand in India by PaintVision in Delhi. He was recipient of Kolkata Entrepreneurs award 2021 for his company J.K.Protomax Pvt Ltd.