Dr. Trista Avent
Business 520 Organizational Behavior
July 29, 2012
One important key to success in sales is one’s ability to connect with others. As in many organizations, profit is driven by customer satisfaction. Being innovative, coupled with world class customer service will enable companies to excel in their class. Listening, relating and being able to build relationships are three main ingredients to connecting with others. These three are known foundational factors used in sales modules across the globe. Many people purchase not only product but service as well. By listening to the customer, an efficient sales/service representative can identify several things. The customer’s desires, needs, and areas of frustration are many times identified with the right questions and the proper rapport built.
Once these areas are identified through effective listening, a representative can then execute the plan to make the customer aware of the products offered that will meet the expressed needs. However, a sell goes far beyond just being able to provide a product. Customers like to know they can trust the person they’re consulting with. For this reason, building rapport is very important in the sales process. The customer desires to feel they are being sold a product that will be a solution to their problem. It’s important for them to have the correct information, and to know they aren’t getting sold something for just “the sake” of a sale. Building rapport enables the customer to feel relational with the sales representative which will build trust. It’s a way for the customer to feel like honesty is there which enhances customer commitment.
The root of this strategy is the sales representative ability to listen. Ineffective listening skills can affect the quality of relationships and cost companies thousands of dollars each year. Most of what we learn we learn by listening. To learn an individual is to have an understanding of them. To know an individual is to understand their personality and attitude. It’s also important to try to get an understanding of their motivations and perceptions. Asking open-ended questions, paying attention, and taking notes are aids to enhance listening and understanding abilities. When the customer feels listened to, they feel important and appreciated. These factors also correlate to the customer’s trust.
Trust and relationship then ignites continued patronization and referrals from the customer. Referrals are one of the best leads a company can get because they’re generated by word of mouth marketing that doesn’t cost the company a dime. Typically, referrals are known to be a better quality lead, they grow business, sometimes require less work, and are a good tool used to measure performance because they are a sure indicator that good customer service was provided. So far, every point discussed were points to prove the benefits of understanding individuals and customers in a sales dynamic. I now not only want to look at the importance of understanding others, I want to take a deeper look of why and how to understand others.
The case study of Joe Salatino, President of Great Northern American at the end of chapter five in Organizational Behavior 2011 custom edition speaks about the success of Joe Salatino’s 35-year-old company and 30 employee sales team. Joe Salatino’s belief is that employees who have established solid relationships with their customers earn more money than those who have weaker relationship building skills. Those that are proficient in relationship building show their ability to listen and understand. In order for Joe’s sales force to establish successful customer and work relationships it’s important to gain an understanding of how people form perceptions and make attributions.
Since perception is defined to be the process by which the individual