Singapore has a unique culture when it comes to sales. As someone who has studied, compared and developed insights about the selling economies around the world, Singapore’s sales culture could be described as “transactional.”
You can see it in the food stalls at Singapore’s famous hawker centres, where the “Salesperson” quickly takes your order, and then the order of the next person and the next person before you’ve paid and stepped out of line.
This culture is a part of Singapore’s DNA, since the 1800s, when it was set up as a trading post for the British East India Company.
However, when it comes to business, effective selling requires a different approach. Rather than the quick-sell, clients seek a more consultative dialogue.
Telling is not selling: -
- Proofread your sales pitch carefully before entering a meeting with your customer.
- If a client is taking the time to meet with you, you can assume that he or she has done some basic research and is wanting to learn more about your product or service than what’s available online.
Plan ahead: -
- Every client has different needs and should be treated as such. Instead, tailor effective insights to the client’s questions and lend him or her on a journey of discovery, guiding the conversation to a purposeful conclusion.
Your revenue quota is not a word quota: -
- To sell your business, use easy language, or simple English, the language being secondary, in Singapore and most other Asian countries, so that your audience allows you.
The relationship is no longer king: -
- Business in Asia has been based primarily—and often solely—on the relationship. And while that is still important, business merit, value, ease of doing business and other factors carry more weight today than ever before.
- Focus on value drivers and see where the conversation leads.
Always put needs before solutions: -
- If your follow-up involves offering something else, the customer’s reaction will go from bad to worse.
- In this situation, rather than selling harder, take a moment and ask yourself if you fully understand the customer’s needs. Only then can you offer an effective solution.
Social media has changed the face of sales: -
- With the availability of information today, a buyer will research solutions, supplies and even sellers before making contact
- Today’s top sellers are taking advantage of that pre-research by participating in blogs, online user groups and social media. By contributing to discussions as subject matter experts, those sellers are building a brand that customers remember.