Competence is efficiency. It is also fitness and capability. In Pilipino, it is kakayahan; never kayabangan (boastfulness).
To be competent, it is a MUST that you are qualified for the job you have just undertaken. This is not so much about academic qualification though. It is more of being qualified to push forward real hard-with you mind, body and spirit-in order to realize the fulfillment of a pre-designed objective, which is to win, to win and to win.
A noted Filipino intellectual, Mr. M.P. Guanzon, has stressed that: “To be efficient, you must be ready to meet people whose main objective seems to be to knock you down. Tibayan mo ang iyong pagtitimpi sa ganitong mga pagkakataon (Keep your cool in times like these). These are the ingredients of success.
Is it too much to ask? It may be so, but it is true. Success does not socialize with the impatient and those lacking in self-control. Instead, it rewards those with the ability to keep one’s cool amid countless trials or sales rejection.
“There is no success without its equivalent sacrifice,” adds Mr. Guanzon.
Sacrifice includes, among others, making yourself physically and mentally fir, psychologically capable and even-tempered in order to withstand disappointments. It prevents you from blowing your fuse when your clients are pretentious (maarte) and insistent (makulit).
Clients are different from one another. There are those who are educated and decent; there are those who are smart-alecky and delinquent. In any case, you ought to be ready and proficient in answering all their questions regarding your product. You must always bear in mind that , if you clients are not satisfied with your explanations, they can turn their attention and insterest somewhere else-where the next salesperson is far more friendly, more patient, and better equipped in answering inquiries clearly and professionally than you. In other words, clients are drawn to companies with competent salespersons. A great part of their competence comes from their being will versed in the details that pertain to the product they are selling. In short, they have product knowledge.
But over and above intelligence is the way you handle yourself before your client. Product knowledge is useless if you cannot get through your client because of your dating (literal meaning, “arrive”; in this context, “countenance”).
What turns off customers? There are too many to enumerate all. We will discuss only the obvious.
Some salespersons come on too strong. Around their clients, they use loud and authoritative voices. When they clasp and shake their clients’ hands, they almost convulse their clients’ bodies and break their fingers.
Some come across like teachers. When they start talking, they give the impression that their clients know nothing. How do you identify this type of salesperson? Listen to his speech. It always begins with “alam n’yo ba(Do you know), sir…?” “Alam mo(You know), sir….”
There is also the incessant talker type. Believe me, the client will never get the chance to talk until he is through with his “Product Knowledge” speech.
But the salesperson most likely to make the client balk at his presence or drive him away is the one who will ask for a drink or who will look for the comfort room the moment he arrives. His clothes are soggy with perspiration, and it looks like the efficacy of his deodorant has run out on him. But he nonetheless goes ahead with his “Product Knowledge” speech.
“Product knowledge is good, but you must also know the client’s system,” stresses Dr. Jocano.
By “client’s system,” it is interpreted here as your client’s right to be understood. But what do you need to understand about your client?
First, he deserves to be treated with utmost respect and decency whoever he is or whatever his status in life is. He is not simply an object or number in your sales call list that you need to go through and finish so you can move on to the next.
Like you, your client has certain peculiarities and sensitivities. That is why extreme care should be taken in conducting your conversation with him. This is one criterion you must pass in order to be a sales champion.
Competence is best enhanced and supported by three factors equally independent of each other: (1) WALKING TALL, or the manner by which you carry yourself, is one but not necessarily the first; (2) TALKING RICH, or your propiety in speech, is another but not necessarily the second; (3) FEELING GOOD, which is your proficiency in projecting a wholesome image using your smile, is still another but not necessarily the third and last.


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