The perfect salesman isn’t some fast-talking, glib American vigorously self promoting his way to his next billion. It’s not the statesman diplomatically negotiating the way to world peace. And it isn’t McDonald’s.
It’s a guy called Mike.
Mike has a shop that sells bikes. It’s called Mike’s Bikes. Mike’s fronts onto a main road, in the middle of a small shopping strip.
I met Mike when I was cycling late one summer afternoon. About 10 kilometres from home I had my first puncture. Being a racing bike I had it fixed in a couple of minutes and continued on my way.
I was 10 metres past Mike’s Bikes when I had my second puncture. Having only the one spare tube meant I had to stop and patch the hole.
So there I am sitting on a bench in the rapidly fading light gluing the tube when out walks the perfect salesman. Now I don’t know if Mike knows he is the perfect salesman. But he is. This is what happened.
How Mike does it
Mike saw me when he walked out of his shop and came over.
“Howdy. Got a puncture? Do you live far away?”
When I told Mike I lived about 10 kilometres away he said,
“The glue will take ages and it’s getting dark. You need it fixed straight away. I’ll grab a tube.”
He disappeared into his shop and quickly returned with a new inner tube. I told Mike I didn’t have any money on me to pay.
“No worries, just pay when you next come past,” he said.
Mike pumped the tube up a little, put it onto the wheel rim and offered some advice on how to get the tyre on the easiest. “The tube’s $9, no rush. Ask for me, I’m Mike.”
Mike preaches the faith!
I was putting the wheel back a couple of minutes later when one of Mike’s employees came out on his way home. When he saw me he stopped and said, “If you need a hand with that just take it into the boys – they’ll help you,” he said.
I said no thanks and continued fixing the bike.
What I have described here is the perfect sale. And it’s a thing that doesn’t happen very often. So what did Mike do so well? Let’s take a look step by step.
Identify the target market
First Mike identified his target market. That was me sitting on the bench in my cycling gear with a bike.
Second, Mike initiated a rapport and completed a needs analysis (“Howdy. Got a puncture? Do you live far away?”).
Thirdly, he restated the issues to highlight my problems (“That glue will take ages and it’s getting dark. You need it fixed straight away”).
Then Mike offered a solution
He then saw a need and offered a solution (“I’ll grab a tube.”).
Mike then exceeded expectations (Pumping up tyre, offering advice, “.just pay me when you next come past.”). The offer for assistance from his departing employee shows that Mike has instilled the same service culture to his young team. Again, this exceeds expectations of most customers.
Mike made a sale – I dropped the money off the next morning.
That’s the anatomy of a perfect sale.
- Identify your target market.
- Approach the market.
- Initiate a rapport with your market.
- Analyse the needs of this market.
- Offer a solution to meet these needs.
- Ask the market to buy.
- Exceed the expectations of the market.
Now that is the perfect sale.