Sales May Not Be What You Think It Is

    by Dave Hughes
    Most people have an image of "sales" as the process of convincing someone to conduct trade with you, whether you're selling a product or providing a service...and that's the wrong way to look at it. Effective sales is the process of solving problems. In 1938, the Dr. Roy Plunkett discoverd Teflon while working for Du Pont. Full-scale production of Teflon took another ten years to get going, and even then it was only for industrial applications. Then, in the early 1950's, a Frenchman named Marc Gregoire (who was using Teflon to prevent his fishing lines from sticking) heard his wife complaining that there was nothing like Teflon to keep her pots and pans from sticking. Gregoire formed the Tefal company to make Teflon coated pans in 1955, and it would be hard to find a kitchen that doesn't contain at least one today. When he started selling his product, did he advertise the industrial uses? Did he spread the word about the new process? No, he focused on how his wife's idea solved a problem.
    • Problem: Washing pots and pans is hard work.
    • Solution: Teflon pots and pans make it easier and faster.
    He sold over a million in the first year alone. When constructing your sales pitch, explain why buying from you will solve a problem for the customer. Yes, this seems like very basic advice, but spend some time watching television, listening to the radio and paying attention to internet and email marketing. You'll be amazed by the number of ads you see or hear that don't address this simple aspect of sales. No one knows what problems you can solve for customers better than tell them.
    Written by:
    Dave Hughes
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