Process of Sales – Tea Vendor and Me

In this closing month of March, when all companies in India, try hard to generate as much sales as possible to close the financial year well, It tickles me to share a stereo type observation of sales as a process.

As written in thousands of book on sales, it is believed that sales is an effective process of exchange of needs in terms of different scores as expressed by different authors.

With due apologies to them, I feel, they have not done justice to the real meaning of selling and is incomplete. Lets evaluate a typical situation to arrive at a logical conclusion:

Suppose you are travelling in a train and you buy a cup of tea from a vendor.

You are in need of tea and the tea vendor is in need of money. Since you could satisfy each other’s need, an exchange took place and the tea was exchanged for money.

So, selling could be defined as an exchange that satisfies the need of both parties involved in the exchange.

Let us say, you paid Rs.5/- for the cup of tea. But, is this all, that happens in sales?

Situation 1: If the tea-vendor would have asked you Rs.30/- for the same cup instead of Rs.5/-, Will you pay?

May be No. Why? Because you will feel the price of Rs.30/- is not fair in a train.

Ok. Now in the same situation if you offer Rs.3/- to the tea-vendor, Will he sell?

May be No. Why? Because the vendor now feels that Rs.3/- is not a fair price to him.

Conclusion 1: For a sale to take place, the exchange not only should satisfy the needs but also be fair to both the parties. (The dimension of fairness is important for sales to take place)

Situation 2: Suppose you need a cup of tea to take medicine along / caught with severe cough and throat irritation and you desperately need it. Will you buy tea at Rs.30/- ?

May be Yes. Why? Because you have a desperate need now.

Ok. In a similar situation, if the tea-vendor has to get down at the next station with still lot of tea in pot, Will he agree to sell?

May be Yes. Why? Because he has a deperate need to dispose and make what ever he can.

Conclusion 2: For a sale to take place, the exchange not only should satisfy the needs but also be fair to both the parties. (The dimension of fairness is important for sales to take place but changes with change in circumstances)

You would not like to pay Rs.30/- for a cup of tea in normal circumstances but you happily pay, Rs.100/- in a five-star coffee shop / Rs.50/- for the same cup if travelling in higher class in a train. WHY? (Environment variable)

I would also like to draw your attention to a term called ‘propinquity’ here that is explained as the art of making friends in Psychology.

Propinquity best works with frequency of interactions with the customer and in an environment that is pleasant for both the parties. It works effectively, when you frequently meet your customer in a pleasant environment so that he is happy to meet you.

Final Observation: Selling is a process that satisfies the needs of both parties and is fair to both under a given set of circumstances.

That is all for today. I will soon discuss on “calling on a customer” for better sales using, Creativity, propinquity, need, fairness and circumstances.

For indepth guidance and mentoring on sales, please feel free to contact me.

Happy Selling !
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