Hall talks to students about 'art of selling'

(Photo by Edward Rhodes) Alan Hall, founder and chair of MarketStar, discusses the art of selling with audience members Tuesday in the Wildcat Theater.

Alan Hall said what he wanted to imprint upon students when he came to speak at Weber State University was that the act of selling is not complex; it comes down to humans communicating on a daily basis.

“The Art and Science of Selling” featured Hall and panelists from WSU’s professional sales and psychology departments Tuesday in the Wildcat Theater. Hall, founder and chair of MarketStar and the director of the WSU Board of Trustees, shared some of his life experiences in the presentation.

“I found that getting down to that human level of need and becoming more social with my customers leads to a greater understanding with them,” he said. “You need to develop a form of empathy with them.”

Hall began by sharing some of his trials and errors he encountered before starting MarketStar.

A major part of his lecture was how psychology and sales are linked, that if someone were to study customer buying patterns and how they interact or choose a product, he or she would develop a deeper understanding of what customers want in a product and how they will use it.

“Business is people interacting with other people,” Hall said. “You are always going to talk to another human being when selling; it’s an inevitable part of any selling process.”

Hall said most businesses don’t do well in the market because they care more about getting the customers’ money than actually talking to and building relationships with them.

“I can understand where he is coming from on this (point that) psychology and sales are connected,” said Zack Francis, a WSU freshman in technical sales. “It’s in our human nature to make repeat sales.”

To drive this point home with students, Hall shared his own “value equation,” which is evaluation of how customers value a product or company. He said value is equal to the combination of the product, price, warranty, support and customers’ buying experience during their time with a company and in their use of the product itself.

“The buying experience is where over 90 percent of all companies fail at,” Hall said. “It’s why a majority of customers defect and move on to a different company.”

Lastly, Hall talked about online shopping, and the difficulty companies have developing empathy with customers when building relationships.

“I’ve had plenty of bad buying experiences from buying online,” said Nic Richman, WSU marketing major. “They just don’t care about us or just don’t think it’s worth their time to (connect). They just care about the almighty dollar at the end of the day.”