Friday, April 10, 2009

selling (in) Romania

The Stillbirth of a Salesman
This same topic pops up again and again. Why doesn't sales work right in Romania?
The main cause of this general opinion seems to be the lack of smiles in the Romanian service oriented industries.
When asked like 5 yrs ago by my boss, a former German automotive industry marketing executive why are the services people so rude I said "they're not happy with their wages". He said "well maybe they should smile and that would lead to better wages...".
When asked by an US online entrepreneur 2 years ago why don't the people who serve in the restaurants smile and try to please their customers I said "It's a culture problem. We're not a service oriented culture, we regard serving as demeaning and that's also why people serving earn less.". He said "well maybe they would earn more if they offer better service. Time will teach them...". Well I can say that time works. Slowly but it does.
On the other hand I know people who work in sales. Good and bad. But on that side there's the target problem. Not the product nor the client. Because we're importing and not making the product. And the client is not as important as the numbers. A good salesman is the one who goes over his target. There's not much to relate to when you sell goods imported from China.
So a good start would be a smile, even if fake at first. Ioan can obviously give some coaching on this and hold hands if it hurts :)
Even better would be a good product to sell.
But if a good product and a first smile don't help then maybe you're not a salesman...

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