Personal Finance

Why selling is an art, not science

It is your task to identify the right customers, hold their hand and make them stand up. FILE PHOTO | NMG
It is your task to identify the right customers, hold their hand and make them stand up. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

If we lived in an ideal world, selling would be an absolute science. In an ideal world, buyers would deliberately involve sellers in crafting spec for say, a tender, ahead of advertising it. That way, sellers would accurately resolve the buyer’s problem with the precise product or service.

Alas! It is not so. Instead, to create spec, buyers form committees comprising solely of members of staff drawn from different departments. These committee members are usually of the mindset that they would rather be doing their ‘actual job’ than this extra workload.

Further, lacking a ‘third eye’, they contribute to creating spec from the perspective of their day to day visible symptoms instead of the infrequent ‘invisible’ root causes of it. And so, they tender, for instance, for a course in report writing but when the training starts the trainees complain that what they wanted was a course in just writing.

If we lived in an ideal world, buyer’s would not make statements like, “Call me on Monday”, only for them to proceed on their three-month long leave arrears; they wouldn’t make statements like, “Let me think about it” and remain in a state of perpetual limbo of thought; or, “You’re expensive”, and not reveal compared to whom, assuming there’s a comparison in the first place; or, “The year is over, let’s talk in January.” And yet January will be pushed to mid-February, and likely be in March.