As a sales professional of many years in fashion retail and other industries I’ve heard all the sales techniques and received countless lectures delivering winning scripts. I read, listened, processed and analysed all of the information handed down and as a non-conformist discarded 99% of it. There are also those who consider themselves sales training gurus who profess they know it all. I have heard them referring to customers as low hanging fruit and or conversion rate. I often hear the term of “sales in the pipeline” and it makes me shudder to think the term is used so openly. The other one is “making the customer the hero”. And here is a an odd one “competing in the bake off” so are we in cooking competition?. What about sincerity and transparency, where and when do they come in?
If you think of customers as foot traffic, conversion rate, low hanging fruit, statistics and gauge their behaviour in numbers, then you are most likely an accountant or manager and chances are you operate in isolation of the coal face. You’ll crunch numbers (foot traffic) you’ll most likely conduct a weekly sales meeting and deliver some kind of motivational speech that you read in the latest publication about a new revelation of closing a sale. What does closing a sale mean? Is it like closing a door for security purposes, so you’re closing the door once the sale is completed, the money is in the till, and bingo you’ve already forgotten the face and name of the person you just sold a product to? When that customer comes back you will then pretend to remember him, is that being sincere? You quickly move onto the next piece of low hanging fruit and close that sale quickly because you’re on commission and competing with your other sales colleagues, or are you competing with your customers. You’ll do just about anything to get a customer to buy.
It’s all geared toward short term gain, or as one sales-guru on the networking circuit quoted” low hanging fruit”. A consistently successful sales professional will look above and beyond for the fruits of his labour and he will push the boundaries of service every time, he won’t think of low hanging fruit, closing a sale, conversion rates and foot traffic. He’ll seek to establish a relationship, engaging on a foundation of mutual trust. This is a fundamental human need in any relationship, trust is based on sincerity. We subconsciously seek sincerity and character in others and if these qualities are not detected the whole foundation is undermined.
You can gather all the techniques and scripts ever written on paper for what they are worth and use them to fuel your BBQ. Every year a new wiz bang sales technique appears then it disappears and is forgotten just as soon as another appears, they’re all geared toward short term gain. Why not read Stephen Covey, or Dale Carnegie, these two authors are a must for every library. Their focus in business and relationships is long term and built upon principles.
Now here is the moment you have been waiting for; and the best sales technique ever is “no sales technique” no hoodwinking or smoke screens just complete transparency. With sincerity at heart you connect with your fellow human beings on a fundamental level, all barriers are broken down and a relationship is formed. No scripts remembered parrot fashion, no wiz bang techniques by the latest sales Guru. Don’t think of closing a sale, think of opening a relationship, the customer you spend an hour with may not even buy from you. But statistically there is a 90% chance he or she will return one day and buy. Satisfying the buying needs of a customer can be a very rewarding experience if done sincerely.
I hope this has been informative, any comments or feedback are very welcome.