As a sales professional of many years in fashion retail and other industries Iíve heard all the sales techniques and winning scripts. Iíve processed and analysed all of the information handed down and discarded 99% of it. All too often customers are referred to as hanging fruit, conversion rate, foot traffic and closing a sale and so on
If you think of customers as foot traffic, conversion rate, low hanging fruit, statistics and gauge their behaviour in numbers, then you are most likely an accountant or manager and chances are you operate in isolation of the coal face. Youíll crunch numbers (foot traffic) youíll most likely conduct a weekly sales meeting and deliver some kind of motivational speech of how to close a sale. What does closing a sale mean? are you closing a door? And once the sale is completed, the money is in the till, and bingo youíve already forgotten the face and name of the person you just sold a product to? When that customer comes back you will then pretend to remember him, is that being sincere? you quickly move onto the next piece of low hanging fruit and close that sale quickly because youíre on commission and competing with your other sales colleagues, or are you competing with your customers. Youíll do just about anything to get a customer to buy.
Itís all geared toward short term gain, or as one sales-guru on the networking circuit quoted" low hanging fruit". A consistently successful sales professional will look above and beyond for the fruits of his labour and he will push the boundaries of service every time, he wonít think of a customer in terms of low hanging fruit, closing a sale, conversion rates or foot traffic. Heíll seek to establish a relationship, engaging on a foundation of mutual trust. This is a fundamental human need in any relationship, trust is based on sincerity. We subconsciously seek sincerity and character in others and if these qualities are not detected the foundation is undermined making it almost impossible to develop a long term customer relationship.
You can gather all the techniques and scripts ever written on paper for what they are worth and use them to fuel your BBQ. Every year a new wiz bang sales technique appears then it disappears and is forgotten just as soon as another appears, theyíre all geared toward short term gain. Why not read Stephen Covey, or Dale Carnegie, these two authors are a must for every library. Their focus on principle based business and building long term relationships. Any sales professional will realise the value of customer retention
And the best sales technique ever "no sales technique" no hoodwinking no smoke screens, or rehearsed scripts, techniques, just complete transparency. With sincerity at heart you will connect with fellow human beings on a fundamental level, all barriers are broken down and a relationship is formed. Donít think of closing a sale, think of opening a relationship, the customer you spend an hour with may not even buy from you. But statistically there is a 90% chance he or she will return one day and buy. Satisfying the buying needs of a customer can be a very rewarding experience if done sincerely.
To conclude Iíd suggest you read "The Seven Habits Of Highly Effective People" by Stephen Covey and "How to Win Friends and Influence People". There are no techniques mentioned anywhere in these two books, the prime focus throughout is building relationships. Keep these books at your side in your bag or on your desk so you can always refer to them as a constant guide