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A good deal of work

Ian McMaster ist Chefredakteur des Englisch-Magazins Business Spotlight.

MEHR ENGLISCH IM NETZ > www.business-spotlight.de
IM NÄCHSTEN HEFT > Out of office messages
Verkäufer sind Partner und Problemlöser in einem. Dem Kunden jederzeit ein gutes Gefühl zu geben, ist schon auf Deutsch nicht einfach. Auf Englisch helfen freundliche Floskeln.
Salespeople need to know their ABC. Or rather, their aim should be "ABC: always be closing". However, closing a deal is easier said than done, particularly in a foreign language. Here are some tips:Build relationships
Most people like doing business with people they like. So build rapport with potential purchasers by making small talk. Also, show interest in your business partners' lives. Keep a note of key facts and events, to refer to at meetings:
> "Your son must be pleased that Manchester United won again yesterday."
> "How is your daughter getting on at university?"
> "How is your wife's new business going?"

Solve problems
Most people buy services or products to solve problems. As a salesperson, your job is to show how you can help. Concentrate on what your product can do rather than on its technical features:
> "This will enable/allow you to ..."
> "This will solve your accounting problems."

Explain advantages
Why should anybody buy your product rather than that of your competitors? In your sales pitch, explain clearly - but honestly - the benefits:
> "The main advantage of this system over the others on the market is that it ..." > "Unlike similar models, this one can ..."

Be specific
If possible, make your customers feel that you are offering them a solution to their particular problem, not just a standard package:
> "We can offer you a tailor-made solution."
> "We can tailor this system to your needs."
> "Of course, we can modify this as you wish. Just let us know your requirements."

Be understanding Listen to any objections and counter them tactfully:
> "Yes, I see what you mean. But I can assure you that ..."
> "I see your point. On the other hand, ..."

Make it conditional
If the potential purchaser is not happy with your original offer, use the conditional tenses to offer alternatives:
> "If you ordered ten, we could offer you a five per cent discount."
> "Would it make a difference if we waived the delivery charges?"
> "What if we were to offer you a two-year deal, with a fixed price?"

Show your limits Signal clearly that you are unable to negotiate further:
> "I'm afraid that's the best offer we can make."
> "That's as low as we can go on the price."
> "That would be our final offer, I'm afraid."

Be positive
Once a deal has been sealed, give the buyer the feeling that he or she has made the right decision:
> "You've certainly made the right choice there."
> "I'm sure you won't regret this."
> "I think we've found a good solution."

Be friendly
Leave your purchasers with the (sincere) impression that you have enjoyed doing business with them, and offer after-sales service:
> "It's always a pleasure coming to see you."
> "Thank you for being so easy to work with."
> "If there are any problems at all, just give me a call."

Sales Vocabulary

(to) close a deal ein Geschäft abschließen
discount Rabatt
delivery charges Lieferkosten
feature (Produkt-)Merkmal
margin Spanne, Marge
purchaser Käufer
requirements Bedürfnisse
quotation/quote Angebot
rapport harmonisches Verhältnis
reservations Bedenken
(to) sort out lösen
sales pitch Verkaufspräsentation
supply liefern
tailor-made solution maßgeschneiderte Lösung
(to) waive payment die Bezahlung erlassen

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Dieser Artikel ist erschienen am 01.03.2005