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Is it better to hire sales staff on a full time or part time basis?

In the absence of close monitoring, part time sales people can loose focus and motivation.

Entrepreneur

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A study compared job satisfaction, performance, and turnover in direct selling between full-time and part-time salespeople. Mary Kay Cosmetics, Saladmaster, United Consumers Club, and Tupperware supplied the names and addresses of potential respondents who had been selling their products during a 6 to 12 months period.

A mail questionnaire was sent to 1 600 respondents throughout the US. The comparison revealed that part-time workers had greater job satisfaction and fewer propensities to quit; they also had better performers as measured by earnings per hour worked. (Wotruba, Thomas R. International Journal of Research in Marketing. Amsterdam).

That said problems often encountered with part time sales people include the following:

  • In the absence of close monitoring, part time sales people can lose focus and motivation
  • The typical sales person is out-going and craves being in the company of people. Working on a part time basis is often lonely. This may cause part time sales people to leave your employ
  • When working with part time agents is it more difficult to control the sales presentation and brand aspect of your business. Your challenge is to ensure that all of your agents present your product or service correctly, consistently and professionally.

When it comes to employee motivation, one size does not fit all

In the highly competitive sales market, business owners are looking for the best sales people to move their product quickly and to do this you do not have to follow a standard commission structure.

Understand commission structure of competitors

If you are in a market where you have competitors it is important to understand the commission structures of your competitors. The next step is to evaluate the pros and cons of the commission structure. However, you should design a commission structure that is simple to understand, easy to administer and motivate the sales staff year after year.

The gross salary of your sales staff must not be less than the industry norm. If it is, you will experience a high staff turnover if you do not pay adequately and demotivate the staff.

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Sales

How do I make a positive first impression with my clients?

You never get a second chance to make a first impression, so be sure you don’t screw it up.

Marc Pillay

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How do I make a positive first impression with my clients?

Everyone makes mistakes. Fortunately, however, they can be rectified in many cases. If the wrong amount of money is transferred, it can be reversed; if the wrong information is given, it can be corrected with a polite apology.

In business matters too, there is a ‘second chance’ that allows for an error to be straightened out and which sometimes can even be turned into an advantage. But there is one time when this is not the case: The first impression.

Making a good first impression is an opportunity that must be maximised. The old saying holds true: You never get a second chance to make a first impression.

Research has shown that first impressions are of critical importance for three out of four buyers – that is a whopping 75%. Some aspects of your external appearance play a role here, but mostly it is what you say, how you say it and also what is conveyed non-verbally.

It’s all about tone of voice, gestures, facial expressions and body language, and it’s about capturing the mood in which the customer finds them self at that moment.

The following points can help you make a positive first impression on the customer:

  • Approach the customer attentively and with a friendly smile
  • Observe the customer – how do they respond? Are they reserved or receptive, cautious or forthcoming?
  • Take the emotionality of the customer seriously
  • Try to adjust yourself to the mood of the customer
  • Give the customer the feeling that you accept and understand them. Create common ground this way, which will leave the customer with good memories and which will shape their future relationship with you.

Do you already take all of those factors into consideration? If not, try to pay attention to them, and you will quickly see that you will have greater success with them.

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Sales

What’s the most important thing to remember when I’m interacting with a customer?

The one surprisingly simple success tactic that works every time.

Marc Pillay

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What’s the most important thing to remember when I’m interacting with a customer?

Customers want to be taken seriously. Someone who invests money does not only want to receive a product or service. It’s also important to make the customer feel appreciated and on an equal playing field with the sales person.

To do this is surprisingly simple: Address him by his name. By doing this throughout the sales conversation, not only when you greet him, your communication with him becomes much more personal and ‘warmer’.

Nothing is more unpleasant than talking to a person face to face not knowing his name – this has certainly happened to all of us at some point. But how can we possibly remember the names of all our customers?

Here are a number of tips that will help you:

  • Be truly interested in the customer and do not only pretend to pay attention
  • Carefully memorise his name during the first meeting, and write it down if necessary – it is no problem if the customer notices you doing this
  • Repeat the name from time to time during the conversation
  • Memorise the person behind the name – face, figure, voice, distinctive characteristics
  • Try to link the customer’s name to an image. Convert his name into a picture, and link objects or situations to it. The saying also applies in this case: “A picture is worth a thousand words.”

You’ll see that after just a short while, the names of your customers will stick in your memory much more easily, and your customer interaction will become more promising.

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Sales

How can I make more sales?

Taking a good look at your existing sales strategy may reveal some areas for improvement.

Tim Berry

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My sales are ticking over nicely but I’d like to increase them now, as I feel that we have the capacity to meet increased demand. Can you give me any advice on how to go about growing sales?

The first thing you need to do is reassess your sales strategy and its impact on sales. Look at what’s working and what isn’t. Once you’ve done that, you can consider introducing some new sales strategies, such as finding new ways to sell more to existing customers, or even how you can find brand new customers. Perhaps you’re charging too little. And your marketing strategy could probably do with an overhaul to ensure it’s relevant in today’s marketplace.

Read the full article here.

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