When you think of the word salesman, what impressions that comes to your mind? Just jot down those images that pop into your mind.
Chances are, your list contains one or more of the stereotypes. The image of someone who in pushy, Fast-talking, aggressive, slick, wears suede or leather shoes, and smokes a big fat Cuban cigar is what has been presented and reinforced by the media throughout history.
Now, that’s not the way selling is in reality. When you meet people in selling, regardless of what they’re selling, you often find that they are very professional, respectable people who are doing a good job in selling. But the old stereotype still exists. And there’s a problem: the old type of sales training, the type that taught the aggressive, competitive style of selling in which somebody wins and somebody loses, is still present in most sales training. Many people are still being taught the same old techniques. You know the techniques I’m referring to. The friendly ones like the Half-Nelson Close, the Hat-in- Hand Close, the Mother-in Law Close, the Nail Down the Sharp-Angle Close, and the other general persuasions. The old type of selling uses such a canned routine that you feel manipulated from the very beginning. That’s not how a true professional sells today, but traces of that old type of sales training continue to hang on to this day.
Have you ever just sat down to dinner when the phone rang and it was a salesperson who immediately launched into a spiel you knew he or she was just reading a script–the type that opens up with such a familiarity that it’s insulting to you. You know this caller doesn’t know you and doesn’t care to know you, either. That kind of approach is what I mean by old-style selling.
A seller using the old style of selling is not listening to your concerns, but simply offering a standard answer for any point you may raise. This approach is insulting, because you know the seller is not listening to you and you know that all potential customers receive the same answer to their concerns. The seller is not trying to help you.
No true professional uses this totally canned approach, but little traces of that old style of selling lurk even in the language we use as we do business today. For example, think about the word close. What does the word close mean to you? When I hear the word, I make these kinds of associations: “He has a closed mind” or “This is a closed meeting” or ” The case is closed”. None of these thoughts is particularly attractive, because they all imply ” go away”. All of them contain words designed to shut you out.
Yet we continue to say to each other: ” did you close anybody today? ” The word itself is not a bad word, but the implication is that once you’ve completed the close, the transaction is finished forever. Close implies something we do to people rather than for people.
What we really want to do is not to close anything, but to open a relationship. Yes, we want to confirm the sale. But we don’t want to close off the relationship. We confirm the sale by getting a cheque, an order, even a handshake, or in my case, I gave everybody a hug before leaving our boutique after transactions is made; but we don’t close anybody. The implication is too negative. A confirmation of the sale should mean that we are opening a relationship.
How about this one: cold call. It doesn’t sound friendly; yet we are expected to be friendly.. On a cold call one person walks into the home or place of business of another person, introduces himself or herself, and checks to see if there’s an opportunity to make a sale that day.
Why not call it an introductory call? That’s really what it is, because we are there for the opportunity of introducing ourselves and our company and finding out if it’s appropriate to make a sale. If it’s not appropriate , guess what we should do? That’s right, Go away! And arrange to come back when it’s appropriate to make a sale. If it’s appropriate to sell that day, what we should do, sell! Because selling is a friendly act and a helpful act. Selling is something we do for someone, not to someone. This is the principle we want to keep in mind.
Webster’s dictionary still contains some of the old, negative idioms related to selling such as; ” to deliver up for sale” or ” to sale down the river”, ” to fool as if by hoax,” “to betray”, It contains some nicer definitions too; but, nevertheless, the bad ones are still in there.
Every time a sale is made, our economic system thrives a little bit more. Red Motley said, “Nothing happens until somebody sells something”. Good point! Selling is what causes it all to happen.
Another person put it this way; Production – Sales =Scrap
Selling is supportive activity that is done to fill needs. A salesperson’s role is to go out and find where the needs are, find out which people could benefit from this product or service, and then sell in a way that is appropriate to each customer.
Ellebay’s plan in the future is to deliver these kind of services all over the world. Ellebay’s products. Ellebay’s way. It requires plenty of planning and organizing. It requires honesty, loyalty, personable, presentable, knowledgeable of each product presented sales rep.
All of us thrives to make things work whatever it is we’re doing. Keep learning, as I always do. Never stop reaching up high. Keep on climbing the ladder, no matter how hard it maybe. Take one step at a time, you will get there. Good Luck!