Monday, November 24, 2014

Were You Born With It?

Are you born with a natural ability to sell or is it learned?  Even though I have been in sales as long as I can remember, I can't answer that.

I have trained many people how to sell, but I believe that is different than a natural ability.  I will rarely buy something when the salesperson is pushing me.  If I am walking through a mall and someone wants me to sample their product or service, I will smile and walk quickly away. Personally, I don't look at that as selling but plain obnoxious.

If you are interested in a humorous look on how NOT to sell, I wrote a blog post about it a few months ago called 10 Ways To Guarantee You Do NOT Make A Sale.  Have a look here to get some valid tips on what NOT to do.

Selling is a way of life.  As a public speaker, if I am not confident, passionate, and trustworthy, the audience will not "buy" it.  You need to believe in what you are saying and you will be heard. People need to believe in YOU-- you need to 'sell' yourself first.

So, do you learn that?  Are you born with it? 
 That is the question!

My father told me that in the 1930's he tried subsidize his income by going door-to-door selling Jiffy Baking Mix.  The cost was five cents a box.  He said he never sold one box and became discouraged very quickly.  It was the Dirty Thirties!

Yet, through his gentle demeanor and gracious personality, he became a great salesman.  No, he was never "in" sales but you believed him when he spoke to you.  You knew he was telling the truth.  As a young girl, I observed this and realized that by listening to people, really listening, it created compassion in you and a desire to help them. That is basically what selling is -- understanding the needs of your client and fulfilling them.  

A Funny Story 

We have two high-end jewelry stores and only sell custom pieces which we design and make.  As in most retail situations, some people have no intentions of buying when they come in and that's fine. Some people come to look, some come for something specific they want and others like to brag about what they already own.  I enjoy the interactions.  However, if I tried to sell to the people who only wanted to look, they would be turned off very quickly and possibly not return.
One of our stores
Last week a woman and her husband came in and she tried on several rings.  Just looking! When her eyes lit up with a specific one and she looked at her husband, I knew this was the ring she really wanted. I said nothing (First Rule of Sales).  She would need time to think about it as it would be a hefty investment.  We were doing some repair work for her so she would return.

A few days later, they returned to pick up the jewelry we repaired.  I waited until they were at the door leaving the store and I said, "Aren't you forgetting something?"

"No, I don't think so," she said with a question mark.

"Your ring."  I smiled.

There was that look again.  I said "Would you like to try it on?"

She did.  She loved it even more.  I looked at her hubby and said "Make me an offer."  He did, I paused for about 15 seconds......( would have sold it for $500 less than he offered).  Then I held out my hand and said "Sold."

Learn how to listen to your client

Listen to what your customer wants, don't push them into wanting it. Intimidation will make most people run away with great speed.  That lady wanted the ring but I assumed she didn't want to ask her hubby for it -- I did it for her and everybody was happy!

Are you a natural born sales person?  Are you intimidated by pushy sales people?

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