When doing sales, you have to be like the water.
Why water, you ask?
Well, water is a funny thing.
By itself, it is nothing. It’s one of the more understated elements.
Unlike rock, water molds itself depending on its environment.
It only reacts based on what it comes across.
In a glass for example, water adjusts to its container. In a river, it conforms to the river’s shape, narrowing itself to fit between crevices, widening itself as it flows to the sea.
We look at water and underestimating it. But in sales, it is crucial that you have to be like water.
Why am I sharing with you all this?
Well, to give you an update, presently, aside from all other roles, I am also serving as a sales director in a car accessories company. Under my supervision are five account executives and one promo dizer. So around six people in all.
Doing sales for the ugly car accessories industry, you are sure to bump into the weirdest, most interesting people.
There is one store owner who always curses and screams at our agents. “Wag ka na dumating dito,” he would scream. “Wala kang kwenta!” (Don’t ever come here again. You are useless!).
However, when I go to their store, they are as sweet as honey. Especially when it comes to asking for credit and delaying their payments.
We have a client who mistreats our agents and yet strives NOT to pay. “Ma’m, mukha naman maganda ang negosyo niya,” our new agent stated (Madam, it seems that they have good business). He cites a lot of customers around our client’s store.
“True,” I agreed. “But it doesn’t mean that he has a lot of customers, he treats his suppliers too. Customers pay in cash so he has to be nice to them. But whether he pays his suppliers is another story. And if we are going to extend him credit, I only care about whether I would get paid or not.”
When doing sales, it’s important to be like water. You really have to adjust to your clients’ personalities and behavior.
If the client is masungit (bad tempered), you have to keep quiet and just listen to him as he screams at you. What’s the point of arguing? Sometimes, it’s letting the client let off steam on whatever bad mood he has that works.
“But ma’m, bastos na e,” (But madam, they are already super rude) our agent complained.
“Sure, but did he order?” I asked.
“Yes mam, but rude na talaga e,” the agent restated.
“Sure, but who cares if the customer is rude, if he himself had ordered,” I replied.
In the end, stick and stones will break my bones but no words will ever hurt me. If the client buys, who cares what he says? It is in a way only our own pride that we don’t make a sale.
My brother for example refuses to give in to a big client of ours.
This big client is very demanding. He wants our company to give him a lot of free products and discount the price heavily. Of course, my brother is very upset. He doesn’t want to give way.
“True, but how much profit are you getting from the client?” I asked.
“Php 10,000 (HKD 1,700) a piece,” my brother answered.
“What?!” I exclaimed. “So who cares what he demands or says? As long as you are getting off profit from him, why not let him complain and get a little more from you?!”
Sometimes, we really have to look at things big picture.
We have to let all the bad words and complaints like oil off the back of a duck and let things just flow. So long as we have the sale, why are we worrying about the little things?
If the client is buying anyway, who cares what he says? It is just words anyway…
So yes, we have awful clients. We have clients whose mouth is as foul as garbage. But they are people too. Sometimes, it’s really a matter of understanding the types of clients we have and adjusting ourselves to them.
Be like water — and this is the first step to being a great salesperson.