Have you ever been in a class where the instructor asked the real estate agents to name what the public thinks of real estate agents? Inevitably, someone will raise their hands and say…they think we’re like used car salespersons? The tone & subsequent commentary indicate that this is NOT a good thing…
In a recent class setting, the instructor went further and asked everyone to raise their hands IF they LIKED salespeople. Only a few brave souls dared to raise their hands. We all felt it…it was not cool to ‘like’ salepersons. One brave soul actually said he enjoyed a purchase when it was assisted by a good salesperson. Which got me to thinking…so do I! Although these examples reference real estate professionals in particular, I think the conversation is actually a broader one.
Even though I often enter a store and respond to an initial inquiry for assistance with the proverbial, ‘No thanks, I’m just looking,’ when I want to make my selection, I’m always grateful when a salesperson shows up, particularly when they are a GOOD Salesperson.
So what’s the difference between a good Salesperson and a lousy one? Well, one could write a book about that and since this is a short blog post, I’ll just highlight a few key points which make a huge difference for me.
1. Good Salespersons LISTEN with two ears & TALK with one mouth
While, this may seem to be the nature of creation, I’m often amazed by how much talking a poor Salesperson does. I guess it’s called ‘Selling’ me a product. Problem is, I don’t need to be SOLD something, I’m already indicating I’d like to buy. I simply need assistance in making the right selection. To help me with that, you’ve got to listen more and talk less.
2. Good Salespersons NOTICE stuff.
A couple of years ago I bought a new car. I really wanted to purchase a particular brand of car, but when I walked into the showroom and started to look around, no one noticed. That’s not to say, there were not sales agents there. They seemed occupied, talking to each other, walking around…in fact doing anything other than noticing that there was a NEW customer in the showroom who might be interested in buying a car. Well, after about 10 – 15 minutes, I walked out. Fortunately, the competing dealer down the street had Salespersons who noticed. Needless to say, I’ve been happy with my purchase.
3. Good Salespersons don’t tell LIES
Sometimes, the truth can be a tricky thing. So what do you say when someone asks you if they look good in something and you really think they look awful? Not an easy situation, I know. Yet, integrity in sales is the cornerstone foundation of good business in my opinion. When people trust you, they feel comfortable with the fact that you are making a recommendation for their good, not simply to line your pockets. Sometimes the truth is hard to swallow. Like, ‘Mr & Mrs Seller, your home has lost 30% of its value OR, you are not in the position to purchase a home right now. But, it’s better to tell the truth, albeit with politeness, than to lead someone down a false trail.
We’re ALL in Sales…
Yes, we are. Everyday, all of us are selling something. Many of us are not aware of this fact and consequently do a very poor job at it. If you’re a parent, you’re in the daily business of training a child to do the right thing and in a sense convincing them that doing so will be beneficial. We sell when we present ourselves to the world every morning.
We’re selling even when we don’t think people are watching. We’re selling every time we convince or ask someone to do something. When selling is done from good intentions and motivations, it has the capacity to influence lives in a very compelling way. People want to know what is best and how to make quality decisions. They want to have the knowledge required to prevent mistakes. They want to know that you care about THEM, not just the product you’re selling. When I meet a salesperson like that, irregardless of whether they’re a REALTOR®,teacher or a clerk in a retail store, I for one, appreciate the service!