One of the best sales tips you’ll ever hear is that there are only three kinds of customers.
Gerry Babins, the very entertaining sales trainer and 32 year print veteran, addressed the Canadian Association of Marketing Professionals (CAMP) on Monday, August 11th
to discuss Effective Sales Techniques. Drawing from his vast experience in the print marketing business, he illustrated some sales tips he’d learned over the years.
Our favourite piece of advice was the three kinds of customers, something Gerry learned in his early days of selling (please note that these theories are not Gerry’s own, but ones he’s very quick to point out that he learned as part of his sales training years ago).
What does each customer care about?
- PAT (Purchasing Agent/Technician) – Pat’s job is to source the item, coordinate with the seller, and ensure the process is complete. PAT doesn’t necessarily care about the final product or service beyond whether or not it meets specifications and is delivered on time.
- JIM (Job Impacts Me) – Jim is the ultimate user – this product/service is going to make his life easier – he’s going to be able to work better/deliver faster/gain more customers. Jim requested the product in the first place, and is a major player in the decision making process.
- TED (Top Executive Decision maker) – Ted makes the final call on whether or not Pat buys your product. Ted is not necessarily the end user of the product/service, but he’s the ONE IN CHARGE.
Pat cares about price, Jim cares about quality, and Ted generally cares about both (or in other words, value). It is very important during the sales process to know which customer you’re speaking with and shape your pitch to them.
How does one break the ice with Pat, Jim, or Ted?
Humour has always been Gerry’s strength, and he’s shaped his entire upfront sales delivery around this. But what if we’re not funny? (I asked) Find something that works for you and use it. Humour. Charm. Friendliness. Whatever – as long as there’s proper follow up, which is the most important element whether you’re dealing with Pat, Jim, Ted, or all three.
Raised in a small town in Newfoundland, Nadine headed west after graduating and fell in love with the bustle of Toronto. Her true passion is marketing and she’s spent the last 15 years in marketing roles, and is the co-founder and CEO of the Canadian Association of Marketing Professionals (CAMP). When she’s not connecting with other marketers through CAMP, Nadine is at the soccer field, gym, or swimming pool cheering on her two favourite munchkins, trying not to become that mom everyone fears.