Role of a Sales-Person and Marketer

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Benjamin Latunji recently got a job as a marketer in a firm. He needed ideas on how he could become a successful "marketer" for his new employer. So, he decided to share his challenge with

fellow Afripreneur.I thought my response to his inquiry may be useful to others in Ben's shoes; hence the repost.

Dear Benjamin Latunji,

Your role is simply that of a sales person (don't be carried away with organisational titles).

Having said that, being a sales person, you have to really be on your toes! If the company you work for has really mapped out their marketing well, your role as a sales rep will be quite easy. If not, then you have an uphill task because you can't succeed selling a product or service whose marketing foundation is already a failure!

1. Understand your product/service up to 99.9%. This gives you the necessary confidence to approach a prospect, answer inquiries and make a sale. You won't want to be fooled by prospects who may have a better understanding of what you sell! Having an understanding of my business has accounted for success with prospects when I meet them in person.

Before you set out to sell, ensure you have done enough research on your product or ask relevant questions from your superior. Only those who ask questions are entitled to answers!

2. Understand who your primary customers are. Your employer is responsible for helping you identify your target audience. I guess you must have had some form of training as soon as you were employed? Your employer had some set of people in mind when they launched the product or service. Ask questions. "Who are my primary audience?" Ben, identifying these set of people is key to your success as a sales person.

If your employer didn't give you some basic training at the onset, then you are assumed an experienced sales person. You are required to take the bull by the horn and identify your key customers - you may be targetting companies. One way by which you can do this is by identifying the class of companies that your product/service value might interest. Some other factors come to play here though, like the price of the product/service (a highly priced product may be certainly out of the reach of small businesses or low income families as the case may be). If you have an extremely long list of potential customers, use the 80/20 rule to select your best prospects, so that you can focus your energy on selling to these set of good prospects.

3. Identify selling methods suitable to each prospect. Ben, there are quite a number of selling methods you can use. They can be categorised under Direct & Indirect Selling methods. The method you choose will depend on the type of response you want to get, the budget available for each method, an understanding of the method and specific situation you find yourself with your target customer.

As you make sales, observe the type of method that works best for you - and keep at it!

But definitely, cold calling, submission of proposals, email campaigns, sms marketing, social media networking, group meetings and networking are some of the most common forms of direct selling.

4. Follow through. Your first meeting or call with a customer may not bring the sale. This is usually the case. Customers usually want to be convinced. Subconsciously,they ask questions like "Why should I buy this product/service?", "Why should I buy from you?", "Do I really need this product/service?", "What value will it bring to me or the company?"

Different issues come to mind. It is your responsibility to ensure you make the sale or close the deal. Usually, prospects need more time to think through an offer or a service. Even if a prospect shows interest in you, your business, product or service, it's not a guarantee that he will buy from you (writing from experience). But it's your duty to follow through and ensure a sale is made.

In most cases, potential deals are missed because sales people are good presenters but are not good at closing a deal by ensuring they follow up on a customer!

Following through a sale is a skill you must learn if you want to be a successful sales person.

Read 553 times Last modified on Monday, 04 May 2015 04:28
Ayokunle Bankole

He is a self-starter, Nigerian serial entrepreneur, a company formation specialist of about a decade, and a small business advisor. He is currently on the board of Directors of some few startups: Delivery Merchant Ltd, Furnishing Effects Retail & Installation Ltd, Citizens & Expats Agency Ltd, and Global Infosolutions Nigeria Ltd.

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