Be Sales Pro, not Sales Jerk
We’re lucky people, you and I. We’re both successful, good-looking, modest, and as well as being great salespeople, we occasionally get to buy things as well.
We get to see the transaction from both sides of the fence. When we buy clothes, a watch, even a can of drink, or when we go out to eat, we get to see other salespeople in action. We get to experience what it’s like to go through the sales process.
Like everyone, we know what we like, and what we don’t. That said, do you ever think about times you’ve been a buyer, and applied it to how you sell? It could be a useful exercise for you. Let’s examine it more deeply.
When you’re in a clothes shop looking for a new outfit, or in a restaurant with some friends, chances are you’ll need to have some interaction with the staff. Now, these people aren’t just there to take your order. They’re salespeople, instructed and incentivised to extract as much money from your wallet or purse as possible.
When you have a good interaction with a staff member, what qualities have they displayed to you? It’s likely they have been cheerful and enthusiastic, greeting you warmly on meeting you. They have asked questions relating to what you’re looking for, and they have tried their best to answer your questions. They’ve taken care to help you choose the right option, and their knowledge of what they’re selling is total.
If a mistake has happened somewhere along the line, they’ve shown empathy and taken care to solve your problem. They’ve given the impression that nothing is too much trouble, that you’re a valued customer.
You’ve just met Sales Pro.
On the other hand…
Sometimes, however, you meet salespeople who are the opposite of Sales Pro. I’m sure you’ve been there, I know I have.
You walk into a shop or restaurant and you’re not greeted, instead, you’re ignored. When you do finally get to talk to someone, they’re miserable. They do the bare minimum to assist you, they’re unhelpful, and don’t seem to know much about what they’re selling.
If you have the temerity to complain, they shrug their shoulders or pass the buck. They don’t go the extra mile to help you if something is slightly out of their remit, or off menu.
Worse still is Sales Jerk. Sales Jerk isn’t like either of the people above, but they combine the worst aspects of the two.
Sales Jerk will greet you warmly when they meet you, but then they’ll come on strong. They’ll badger you as you browse the store, asking uncomfortable questions, not caring about the
Sales Jerk will give you the hard sell, pushing the items that make them the most profit, whether they’re right for you or not. Sales Jerk only has one thing on their mind, and it’s their commission, not you or your needs.
Sure, Sales Jerk knows their product inside-out, but when Sales Jerk tells about it, it sounds slick and robotic.
How to be Sales Pro
We all think we’re pretty good salespeople, but there’s always more to learn. We can learn a lot from the people around us, the salespeople we meet every day.
When you’re selling, put yourself in your buyer’s shoes. Make sure you’re warm and enthusiastic, knowledgeable and interested. Be like the best clothes shop or restaurant staff member you’ve ever encountered.
People buy from people they like, so make sure they like you. If you feel you’re overstepping the line between Sales Pro and Sales Jerk, rein it in. Make it easy for people to buy from you, a smooth process. Create an experience they’ll want to repeat, again and again.
Think of how you feel when you walk into a shop and leave with exactly what you wanted after a pleasant, easy interaction. Think of how fondly you remember a night out at a restaurant where as good as the food has been, the waiting staff have been attentive, helpful, good fun, making the night all the more enjoyable.
People love to buy things when the salesperson makes it easy. Give your buyers that feeling. Help them to buy.
Don’t be Sales Jerk.
Your turn now. Have you encountered Sales Jerk recently? What happened? Dish the dirt. Or you could tell me about a time when Sales Pro has made you happy with an easy and pleasant transaction. Leave me a comment down below.
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About the Author
James Ski works for Linkedin and advises companies on recruitment, employer branding and how to achieve scalable, predictable sales growth.
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