The best salesperson I have ever seen does not carry an iPad or an iPhone. He does not have reams of notes on paper. He doesn’t get fazed by the word no. As a matter of fact the best salesperson I have ever seen probably does not describe himself as a salesperson but rather a customer relations builder. The best salesperson I have ever seen works behind the counter at my local 7-11.
I go to this 7-11 to get gas and typically will go inside the store for a cup of coffee, maybe fruit (grapes or a banana), and a mineral water. Every now and again I will pick up the newspaper. It is fairly routine and it is not very often but when I do I am always greeted with a smile and a how are you doing boss question. Immediately I am engaged because I respond back with an answer and ask him how he is doing. Simple banter that in the course of a day does not amount to much but over the course of time means a lot.
After a few times of going in there and me purchasing fruit and telling him no that I would not like to add a donut to my coffee for an extra $.99 he finally turned the question around. Instead of asking me if I would like a donut he said: I know you are a healthy eating person but are you sure you do not want to add a donut today? The first few times I said no but then one day after a hard morning workout I said yes and took a donut out of the case. The next time in he did not offer me a donut but instead said: take a look……we have two bags of M&Ms for $1.00 today, want to get some for after your workout?
He never took it personally that I always said no and kept asking. He took notice of what I typically ate and remembered the conversations we had about me working out. He made a connection with me through his smile, through his simple questions and eventually I was sold on a donut and M&Ms to add to my order. He probably greets hundreds of people on a daily basis and most of them are not regulars so he probably does not generate a connection to all but what I know he does is this. He greets everybody with a smile and a question. Not a sales question but a question about how they are doing that day.
The person lays their items on the counter he rings them up and he asks a follow-up question. Would you like to add ___________ ? It does not matter what that additional product is, but what matters is that he is asking the question. He is allowing the person to decide for themselves without pushing them and giving them the freedom to make a decision on their own.
Imaging he greets 100 people on a daily basis. If 20% of those people increase their purchase and by only $5 then he has increased his sales for the day by $100. Over the course of a year that is $7,300. I am sure the owners, or himself if he is the owner, are thrilled with an additional $7,300 in revenue each year.
As you can see being the best salesperson doesn’t take much but it does require you taking an interest in your customer. Asking them how they are doing, sending them an article you read that you believe is of interest to them, offering them tickets to an event they would be interested in. By doing the small things and not making every call a sales call you are building a relationship with your customer that will pay off in the long run because you care about them and their business and not just your sales commission.
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