Today I am excited to start a new series that will offer you fresh insight that is designed to help enhance your sales career and performance. Over the next few months I am going to be sharing with you Seven Simple Truths that have impacted my sales career in a meaningful way and brought me great success. These simple truths will allow you to connect with your customer on a deeper level, as well as impact your store environment in a meaningful way.
Over the past few years we as an industry have begun to move away from greedy sales tactics and turned our attention back towards our customers and meeting their needs. This has allowed us to reconnect with our customers and build relationships that stand the test of time. Once the bond of trust is established, the lines of communication flow freely and sales become easy and almost effortless. I see it every day in my career as a yearly million dollar sales associate.
In starting this series I believe it is vital to focus on understanding your customer and seeing them in a new light. A few years back I shared with you The Four Basic Customer Types which helped you see your customers in a new light and set the standard to making sales become easy and effortless. Through all the positive feedback and results from that training I began to look deeper into understanding the modern day customer and what I found was one simple truth. People are people.
I realized that customers all really wanted the same things. Someone they can trust, a positive experience and a relationship or connection. You could dissect this down into many smaller units, but in the end this is what the customer desires. Depending on who the customer was, they portrayed certain personality traits to try to achieve what they desired. This is why understanding the Four Basic Customer Types was vital to bringing new success. However, in the end, people are just people. They all want the same basic things.
Now that you have this simple truth, I ask you to examine your sales career as you see your customer in a new light. Do you treat everyone the same? Does every sales presentation possess the same amount of passion and energy? Do you try to impact every customer’s life in a meaningful way? Stop, take a moment and think about this in depth.
If many of you are being totally honest with yourself, you will probably notice that you do not treat every customer the same or give the same effort to everyone. This is because we have been wired to focus on the potential dollar amount of the sale and what the customer can do for us. If it is a well dressed customer walking through the door who pulled up in a Mercedes, they will have everyone’s complete attention and focus. However, when the elderly man/woman or a teenager walk through the door most of the staff act busy or go into the death stare looking away from the customer hoping someone else will greet them and take care of them.
If any of you are feeling frustrated or guilty right now, I can honestly tell you that I understand. I get it! I was you many years ago and I was still able to be successful. I know the power of fear of missing the big sale while helping a less fortunate customer. Like you, I had the skills and talent to rely on the big home-run sale and lived off it. I also can honestly tell you that I was miserable and not satisfied with my career at all.
Then something happened! I began to see my customers in a new light. My new standard was to view every customer as a person. There were no advantages or differences. I hustled to greet every customer and give them a show-time experience. It did not matter what their buying potential was or what they looked like. My goal was to impact their life in a meaningful way and add value to their life. With this new direction came story after story of success, referral business, and happy customers. My customer base grew and my sales exploded.
Many of you may be wondering if I missed a few big ticket sales? Sure I did, but what I gained in the long run were loyal customers, easy sales and even bigger tickets. It helped me become more efficient and effective in the long run because my repeat customers took very little time to sell. My sales have become easy and almost effortless. When I travel and speak or do in-store training I am still making money because my customers are loyal and dedicated to me and my genuine care for them.
If you are able to overcome your fear of missing the big ticket and assist every customer with the same effort, I can promise you that your sales career will flourish and success will find you. In my seminars I tell story after story of the benefits of seeing people as people. The first time I met my most fruitful customer he was wearing sweat pants and wanted aquamarine dangle earrings 3 days before Christmas. Taking the time to make that $300 sale multiplied into years of big sales. Last year alone he and his wife spent close to $150,000 with me. It only takes a handful of customers like that to change your career forever.
Then there is my favorite story of helping an 8 year old boy who wanted to buy his mom a Pandora bead for Mother’s Day. He had a bunch of single dollar bills and change and it was during the Mother’s Day rush. I put on a show for that boy and his father and built him up. He left the store feeling special and proud. It was not until later that I understood the impact that I had on the boy when his mother came and introduced herself. She explained how her son was very reserved and distant. The kids at school picked on him. That one experience brought him out of his shell and it touched their whole family. A few days after I helped the boy his dad came back and purchased a $2,500 emerald ring from me. His wife said that he had not brought her any jewelry in years. That one experience has led to many years of sales where the mom comes in with her older daughters and shops. However just knowing the impact that I had on that little boy’s life was more than enough for me. The rest was just reaping the benefits of conducting business the proper way.
So the next time a young child walks into your store or someone who is not dressed a certain way, I encourage you to see them in a different light. If you understand that people are just people and focus your attention on meeting their needs, beautiful things will happen. There are numerous stories of customers walking in with a bag full of repairs that everyone else runs away from where I created really big sales in the future. Plant the seeds today in good soil and in the future you will reap a harvest like never before.
As a sales associate you can have all the skill in the world, but until you learn how to connect with your customer sales will not come easy. Take the time to learn some new skills like serving while selling or impacting your customers with passion and energy. Take this insight and put it to practice in your daily sales and soar to new heights. This insight can be found in my book Modern Day Selling which is available on most major book websites. Next month we move to truth #2. You will not want to miss it.
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.