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Wednesday, April 24, 2024
Sales Mastery



When you have worked in sales, absorbed some books about selling and had the good fortune of observing people who are incredible in the field… You become tuned in to just “how” people sell. Obviously, sales is a craft, like building cathedrals or painting illustrious works of art. We define it this way, before like any craft, you can see when somebody does a bad job (or an amazing job, that floors you.)

And unlike any craft, if you do it well enough, you can literally write your own paycheck – unbound to the laws of typical salaries. After recently hearing about my friend’s really bad experience with a salesperson – we’d like to share with you how you can do the opposite of selling somebody something in person and drive your customers away completely.

1. Build rapport with the customer (falsely)

Have you ever walked into a store and have a guy compliment your shoes? Well, this guy did. The only thing is, he has every reason to (and you know it…)

He’s obviously trying to build rapport with you to make you like him so you can more-easily swallow the idea of him selling you something. Now, there’s nothing wrong with complimenting somebody on their shoes (My friend happened to have pretty killer shoes on, at the time…) But when it hasn’t anything to do with the situation at hand (he was simply trying to compare prices for a travel bag) – a feeling of falseness starts to show up – and your clients feel it.

Instantly, instead of feeling appreciated as a customer, you start to feel like an object in processing, via a cheap sales trick.

2. Assume the sale (badly)

“You walked into the store – therefore you must be here to buy something.” This was obviously on this guy’s mind when he started speaking to my friend. He also didn’t stop speaking to him, for a good 15 minutes. Throw enough pasta on the wall and some of it should stick, I think, was his attitude.

Salesman: “Why this bag is great, feel this, feel the weight here, look at the design of this lock – oh! – and only airport operators know how to unlock this specific bag…”

You see, he assumed the sale, and so, assumed he could say just about anything to my friend. My friend, whom he ordered around the shop to do things for him, by the way.

Salesman: “Hold this bag, no wait, put your carkeys down, compare how the two bags feel.”

To be honest, anyone would be shocked that a salesman like this existed to begin with. In his mind, I guess he thought he was doing a great job… We thought it couldn’t get worse, until…

3. “Welcome to the Kevin’s Bags Family!”

Eventually, his coworker walks out of his office (he must have heard all of this) and enquires what was happening… The salesman proudly said: “Well, our customer is about to join the amazing Kevin’s Bags family!” (For posterity, we won’t mention the actual company’s name) After what had seemed like a 40 minute lecture, my friend had deduced two things:

  1. “This man is clearly delusional…”

And …

  1. “They’re never going to let me leave unless I buy something, somewhere.”

My friend smiled, politely, and excused himself, saying he’d buy the same brand of bag, from another outlet where I had seen a discount.

Salesman: “Ahhhh for such a great quality of bag, I’d be happy if you bought it anywhere.”

Yeah, thanks… My friend had walked in just to check whether the prices here were different to the same bag he had seen at a previous shop – yet only felt like he wasted his time. Do you have salespeople on your team that are secretly driving your customers away?

What we can take away from this is…

  • Yes! They do exist. You could have staff that do a disservice to your customers everyday, and this hurts your bottom line.
  • Regular training, and checking how your salespeople do their work is vital.
  • There is always a better solution.

The solution for now?

A healthy dose of “getting back to reality” for your team. If they don’t sell well, they won’t do well and therefore, it’s in their best interest to be helpful, assertive and excellent in their craft.