April 28, 2014
Know How

Four Ps that produce sales

Hate to break your heart, but you're in sales. Yes, you're selling every day. Sometimes it may seem like every hour of the day.

You “sell” your kids on the idea that a green vegetable at dinner is good for them. You “sell” your boss that the raise you're asking for is overdue. You “sell” your friends that the new, trendy restaurant is a great place for Saturday night. And yes, you “sell” a new customer your product or service.

I think you get the idea.

You are in sales. Your title may be “parent,” “employee,” “friend” or “account executive,” but you're in the game of selling, no matter what your title is at that time.

But you need certain characteristics to sell that idea. Call it the four Ps of sales:

1. Patience. It's a virtue but a necessity in getting your point across. Webster's defines patience as calmly tolerating delay, confusion, etc. Trying to get your kid to eat his or her green vegetables at dinner sometimes takes the patience of Job. Your child will use every possible tactic to delay, confuse or distract you. Your boss will use every excuse in the book that the time isn't right for you to get that raise. Patience is required, but so is the next trait.

2. Persistence. You must endure in your quest to get your idea across and make the required change. Continue in the face of opposition. That kid is stubborn and not eating that green stuff. Your boss is throwing up roadblocks about the raise. Your friend doesn't want to go to the new Asian fusion restaurant on Saturday but wants the regular Italian place. Refuse to give up and keep fighting the battle of wits. Your kid, boss, friend or prospect must understand that your idea is worth it.

3. Perseverance. Continue on your course of action despite the difficulties and opposition. Remain resolute. That kid of yours needs to understand the benefits of eating green veggies. You know you're right; they just need to understand why. Your boss doesn't care about your bills, but he or she will care if you no longer feel motivated at your job and think about leaving. Show some grit. Don't give up. You know the Asian fusion place will be fun and it's not the same-old, same-old Italian place. You know your prospect lacks some productivity and your product is the right cure. Endure the distractions and obstacles. Keep pursuing your kid, boss, friend or prospect. They matter. You need to get your idea across.

4. Finally, persuasiveness. You need to move them, to cajole them, to win them over and overcome their resistance. The green veggie is good. That raise is worth it. Asian fusion is awesome. Your product makes their work life better. They'll see the light at some point.

As you see, it's all about being patient, being persistent, persevering and being persuasive. There are others for sure, but these four Ps are a good starting point. n

Len Diana is marketing and sales manager for Baesis Inc., a technology products reseller in Northborough. Contact him at ldiana@baesis.com.

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