Ravi Shah was a successful salesman with ShoeShine company, which made all sorts of polishes, brushes and other related accessories for footwear. Just recently ShoeShine had come up with a new product, ShoeGel, which was a shoe shine with anti fading qualities, which would make leather shoes last longer. ShoeShine was looking for innovative ideas to sell ShoeGel. Ravi was passing by the main office of INV, which manufactured shoes for office wear. He suddenly thought of trying to pitch the idea of cross selling ShoeGel along with INV shoes. This would require Ravi to “sell” the idea of ShoShine tying up with INV so that ShoeGel could appear on the shelves of INV flagship stores.
Ravi called up his boss to confirm that his idea made sense and on receiving an excited green signal from the other end of the phone, he decided to take a chance and meet the head of Sales division of INV, Vikram Ahuja. Since the meeting was not pre arranged, Ravi knew Vikram might not be very enthused with the meeting. Ravi had time on his hands to take that chance and he was prepared with all the details of ShoeGel.
Read the next few articles to see how Ravi manages to not only get an on-the-spot meeting with Vikram, but also detects how well Vikram has opened up to his idea of cross selling. Of course the financials of the tie up could not be discussed or finalized by Ravi and would have to be taken up in detail by other departments in ShoeShine. But once Ravi could sell the idea to Vikram and detect how well Vikram was taking it, he could pass on the pulse of the customer to his colleagues and a detailed response could be prepared. In this case study we will see how Ravi uses the non verbal signals given by Vikram to better understand his receptivity to the idea and his areas of concern.
** It is to be noted that no single gesture or position of the customer can signal anything definitively. The key is to make a sharp observation at all times during the discussion. Also make sure you practice reading signals at home or with friends before you try doing the same in a more serious setting. If the customer notices you observing him rather consciously, it will make him annoyed. Read the Sales Case Study How to Greet Customers