Businesswomen from Strathalbyn and surrounds were treated to some practical sales tips when the Women in Business Regional Network met in Strathalbyn on May 21.
The guest speaker was Mardi Badcock, the manager of Regal Sleep Solutions in Mount Barker, who has more than 25 years’ experience in sales, including within the very competitive medical sales field.
She said there had been a dramatic shift from transactional selling (basically exchanging money for a product) to more solution and relationship-based selling, whereby customers had their needs understood before a sale was made.
“Everything in the world is changing,” Mardi said.
“You have to look at what you can do to be innovative in your business and in your selling.
“Solution selling is more about focusing on the customer; their needs and their problem.”
Mardi also encouraged those at the dinner to develop “power statements” about their products and businesses.
She gave examples from within the business she manages such as “recommended by over 3000 health professionals” and “30 day money back guarantee”.
The main selling tips she emphasised included asking meaningful questions of the customer; actively listening to the customer; opening with a smile, a handshake and an introduction; and to not be afraid to ask for the sale.
Mardi strongly believes it is the personal connection a sales person makes with a customer that determines their success in a sale.
“Successful sales people create a connection with the customer by bringing their own personal touch to the sales process,” she said.
“People buy from people that they like and can relate to.”
She said sales had come a long way from the days where companies provided their staff with a script to deliver. Now, it was important for the sales person to connect with the product or service and be able to deliver the message on a more personal level.
“You have to be able to say it in your own words,” Mardi said.
The next Women in Business Regional Network dinner at the Victoria Hotel Strathalbyn on Tuesday, July 2 will be addressed by Stephen Shotton, the regional manager of Regional Development Australia Adelaide Hills, Fleurieu and Kangaroo Island.
He will be speaking about the region’s economy, what’s being done to encourage local economic development and how the RDA can assist local businesses.