Saturday, May 01, 2010

Selling aint that easy

I have been staying away from the activity of sales and marketting however little did i expect that i would have to end up doing it some day. When i moved to chandigarh, for my new job..<> I purchased some second hand furniture...ofcourse the guy I bought it from sold it to me at a higher cost to gain his own profits. But now when i had to sell the same furniture back, i did realize the art and skill of selling. The concept of "upselling" was known to me but I surely realized it lately. We talk about User experience etc...but customer experience itself is a great activity in all. Around till the first week i tried to sell the furniture all by myself, but then i realized an accomplice can help. So i teamed up with my bldg watchman to help me find the customers. This guy was amazing, from day two I had customers ranging from pan chewing dealers to housemaids to good looking was an experience in speaking to them in different tones. Like some had a concern about the age of the TV , Fridge or Washing machine. While others had more concern about how it looked or more how it could be transported etc. Price ofcourse was everybodies concern. I started my sale at a handsome price...soon i started realizing that my high cost was driving out my greatest customers who were the people from the bottom of the pyramid.

As my date of leaving came closer, my risk of loss was increasing rapidly. Now in the phase 2 of my plan i had a different focus, i had to minimize my loss.
Somehow i managed to sell of my stuff at decent prices. But yes i surely learnt a good lesson in life. Things like when selling second hand goods, your behavior has to be completely opposite to bargaining mentality. If you get a customer for X amount which is less than what you quoted but however is still getting you a decent profit, dont be too stringent on your price. Reduce it to reduce loss. Customer once gone will never come back...even if u call him million times...also that when u sell..depending on the customer talk to him....everybody is interested in different dimensions of the dont sell the whole product to everyone.. Also in the whole process my watchman was useful, and his usefullness increased when i showed him a profit of some goods from my house...this was bigger motivation to him to sell things as against the initial money i had offered him.
In Short here are the lessons i learnt:

1. If possible dont buy second hand goods...unless resale value is high
2. While selling quickly ( you dont have time for user reserarch there) judge your customer and adapt to his behavior...make it look natural.
3. Know your numbers in your quick at loss and profit calculation
4. Take phone numbers of your customers in case you dont get any customer later.
5. Respect your customer even if he is a sweeper, remember he has to pay you.
6. Use your resources to the full...if required share a percent of your profit, or tangible goods themself

Full respect to all those sales people out there... Trust me knowing humans and their behavior is important everywhere...not just design.

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