Today I would like to offer you some valuable insight that will open up many new avenues to success for you. It is the skill of taking life experiences and transferring them over to the sales floor. Many of you who have ready my articles over the past three years know that I like to use stories from real life and translate them over to the sales floor to help you see the big picture. It is this unique skill that I have cultivated that has birthed many of the new concepts in sales training like overcoming fear, maintaining your passion and energy and connecting with the customer. Today I would like to offer you a deeper look into this skill so you can see your sales career and life in more clarity.
In life there are certain moments or situations that occur that possess many great truths and insight to be discovered, if only we took the time to explore them in more depth. Take for instance the story of a nine year old boy who watched a scary movie at a friends house and found it impossible to walk home in the dark because fear had conquered him. This simple story led to one of my greatest teachings on overcoming fear by understanding how fear operates. It has led many people to freedom from fears that are holding them back in business and in life (you can find that article at www.southernjewelrynews.com/columnists/brian-barfield/1771-modern-day-selling-truth-2-to-lasting-success-overcoming-your-fears).
I ask you as a sales professional to take a moment and look into your life and see with clarity the moments that occurred that open new avenues to success and offer valuable insight to you. Another great example is taking my own shopping experience where I felt vulnerable in having my car repaired. I was able to take that experience and understand my customers better by seeing the sale through their eyes. This led to a series on connecting with the customer and establishing trust (find that article here: www.southernjewelrynews.com/columnists/brian-barfield/2452-the-modern-day-sales-presentation-establishing-trust-to-open-lines-of-communication).
One of the most valuable skills that I teach is learning to manage yourself by utilizing the power of self-examination. In that session I talk about taking time each day to re-connect with yourself by turning off the TV, computer and anything that is a distraction, and take a few moments to think with clarity. The problem is that many people today are too busy and consumed by life that they often forget to take the time to re-connect with themselves and really think about things in life. It is in these moments of reflection that you will find great truths and insights within the stories of your life.
Recently I was reflecting on the holiday selling season. I was not thinking of how much I sold or how much money I made. No, I was thinking of special moments that took place that offered me valuable insight into finding new avenues to success. In a matter of 15 minutes I recalled a story of a dad who brought in his 4 year old son to buy a present for his mother. The father allowed his son to pick out whatever he wanted for his mother (within reason of course). The little boy settled on a frog ring for $395 and he was so excited to get it for his mother.
So the time had come to ring up the sale. I walked up to the little boy and said, “Ok, time to give me all your money,” with a big smile. The little boy had a few $1 bills and a bunch of change that totaled about $8. As I reached for the bag the little boy had a sudden look of terror on his face. He did not want to give me all his hard earned money. I am pretty confident if his father was not there encouraging him to give me all his money he would have run for the hills. Painfully the little boy handed me all his money and all of a sudden the joy of buying mommy a Christmas present was gone. It was a valuable lesson that this father was teaching his son about the price of giving and how tough it is to spend your hard earned money on others (even mommy).
As I opened my mind for examination I saw many great truths and parallels within this story. How many young sales associates want to become elite sales professional, and make a lot of money, only to find out that there is a price that they must pay to reach such greatness? Without a strong manager or elite sales professional to encourage and guide them, many will pull back their small offer and settle for mediocrity. Many sales associates want to be great but are unwilling to do what it takes to get there. This is one of the major issues within the retail industry and without good leadership and guidance many will never make it. There is a whole future series coming to life from this one simple story.
I then was able to take this exact same story and apply it to my life. I have an 18 year old son who has just started his first real job and I am starting to make him pay for a few things like car insurance, gas, cell phone and car payment. It has been difficult for him to work so hard, for so little and see it disappear so quickly. However, I am quick to remind him that in real life there is mortgage payment, cable, food, electricity, health insurance and the list goes on and on. If only I would have started sooner like this father and taught him this valuable lesson at an early age.
I hope this article has given you new perspective on the many unique moments that happen in life that you can use to find new avenues to success. I promise if you take the time to cultivate this new skill that you will begin to see a new world of opportunity and success open up for you. Life is so much easier and more rewarding when you have the ability to see the big picture. For more insight I encourage you to read my book “Modern Day Selling: Unlocking your Hidden Potential” published world-wide by John Hunt Publishing.
Brian Barfield is a two-time published author, worldwide, who specializes in offering fresh new insight in retail sales training. Modern Day Selling offers a unique perspective in teaching sales associates how to reconnect with their customers and how to achieve greater success in their sales career. For more information please visit his website www.moderndayselling.com. Brian also offers in-store sales training and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.