How Not To Sell Something, Vol. 2

A Funny Story

I’m sure I could come up with a bunch of real life examples, but I hate when I go into a store looking to be educated and I can’t get what I’m looking for.  Say, for example, I’m looking for a PC and the ‘sales person’ just reads the boxes or the sales tags.  To me, it’s kind of insulting.  Is the person ‘helping’ me assuming I can’t read?  I’m looking for someone to help (and educate me) on the right product for me.

I would honestly have the person just tell me they don’t know much about it and they can’t help me.  Not waste my time reading tags or reading the text off a box.  At that point you’re just trying to sell me something.  You’re not trying to fulfill a need that I have.  This means you do not care about me or what I’m looking for.  You probably shouldn’t be working.

What bugs me is that it’s like people aren’t even trying….

A Good Story

Every retail job I’ve ever had was spent learning the product.  Becoming knowledgable about what I was selling.  At the end of high school and into college, I worked at a sports shop.  Fishing, hunting, paintball…the works.  The funny thing was I wasn’t a fisherman or a hunter.  I fished with my dad when I was a kid, but other than that I was really a ‘fish out of water.’

I spent so much time learning about the things I was selling.  I could recommend (with confidence) a fishing reel, arrows or anything else someone was in need for.  Why?  I became knowledgable about the product.

It was actually pretty easy.  When someone came in and knew what they needed I asked them why…and gained knowledge.  I asked my boss a lot of questions about why one was more expensive than the other, or about what the difference was between arrowheads…and I gained knowledge.  I even researched stuff on my own when I didn’t know.  There was also sales tools manufacturers gave us to get a better understanding about which ‘fishing line’ was the best.

It was funny, but there were a few times when I’d be helping someone with a bow sight, telling them the benefits and features and the customer would ask me, “Which one do you use.”  I would be honest and tell them that I actually didn’t hunt, but would back up my recommendation with all the knowledge stored in my head.  Every once in a blue moon I would get a weird look, but 99% of the time they would still go with my recommendation.  100% of the people respected my honesty.

I also worked at Sam Goody and a bookstore when I was younger.  Same thing happened there.  I could tell someone exactly where a book or CD was.  I could give them recommendations based on other music (or books) they liked.  I helped them find what they were looking for based on simply listening and learning.

Conclusion

The conclusion is the same from Volume 1.  When I go to buy a something, I don’t want want to be sold anything.  I’m looking to go into a business and learn, from experts, what the benefits and features are of a product or service.  When I go to a business, I want a sales person to help and guide me to make an educated decision.  I especially like it when a sales person gives me their opinion based on their wisdom and/or experience with a product.  I even love it when a salesman actually talks me out of sale because the product won’t fit my needs.

Part of sales is a transfer of confidence.  When you sell something by annoying, misleading or ‘trying to get the sale’ that is what you are transferring.  Not confidence.

When I go to buy a new car, I don’t want want to be sold anything.  I’m looking to go into a business and learn, from experts, what the benefits and features are of a product or service.  When I go to a business, I want a sales person to help and guide me to make an educated decision.  I especially like it when a sales person gives me their opinion based on their wisdom and/or experience with a product.  I even love it when a salesman actually talks me out of sale because the product won’t fit my needs.

Part of sales is a transfer of confidence.  When you sell something by annoying, misleading or ‘trying to get the sale’ that is what you are transferring.  Not confidence.

Photo Credit


Hi, I'm a marketing guy, who knows how to make websites. Every so often I see or think of things, that will be of value to others. It's either that or I just need to 'rage-vent.'

tommy[at]iheartblank[dot]net

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