By Brian Barfield
Over the past two years, it has been an honour to share with you my message of Modern Day Selling. I want to thank everyone who has helped facilitate change on the sales floor by implementing what you have learned.
The winds of change have continued to blow, as many of us in the industry have chosen to turn our attention back to our customers and away from greedy sales tactics. In light of your efforts to reconnect with customers and re-establish the bond of trust, I’m confident many great things will continue to happen for you and your store.
Building on those ideas, I am very excited to announce a new series titled, “The Modern Day Sales Presentation,” where we take all the pieces of the puzzle I have shared with you over the past few years and put them to work for you and your unique sales presentation. We’ll discuss:
• Self-examination (i.e. managing yourself);
• Maintaining your levels of passion and energy (i.e. the fuel that drives you to greatness);
• Serving while selling;
• Creating a showtime experience;
• Overcoming your fears (i.e. understanding how fear operates);
• Understanding the modern-day customer (meaning, the four basic customer types); and
• Re-connecting with your customer (i.e. establishing trust and loyalty).
It’s only appropriate for us to begin our journey by understanding where we have been. For many years, the basic training on sales presentation has revolved around the concepts of greeting, asking open-ended questions, overcoming objections, and closing the sale. In retrospect, it was kind of like the invention of the automobile, which made travel more efficient than using a horse and carriage. For many years, it has provided us with a more efficient way to sell our customers.
Having said that, I have a few important questions to ask. What if I told you there was now a way to fly? Would you still want to take the longer journey to reach your destination in your sale? What if I told you there was an easier way to be successful? Would you change?
Today, I would like to welcome you to your flight—admission is totally free. By the end of this series, you will have the knowledge and skills to sell your customers more efficiently and effectively. Many of you will soon perceive selling in a whole new light, as you add to the skills I have shared with you. If you embrace my motto, “Success is found when you take what is good and make it great,” you will have the potential to become a leader in your store, as well as your industry.
Before we begin our journey, it is important we go over the instructions for successful travel. In order for this state-of-the-art training to be effective, there are a few things by which you must abide.
First, learn to rewire your thought process. Your customer is no longer your competition. Reality has been altered; the customer is now your boss and they have the power to give you their business or take it elsewhere. The days of playing mental chess with your customer to make a sale are over. As a sales associate, you are working for your customer, as well as your company. Take a minute and let that one soak in a bit.
Secondly, you are there to serve your customer, as well as entertain them. Every customer should be treated with the same enthusiasm, excitement, and passion. If you truly want to be successful, stop sizing up your customer based on buying potential. The trick is to build a large and loyal customer base. When your customer realizes you are looking out for their best interest, the sales process becomes very easy and often effortless. People respond to loyalty. Using this approach, you’ll find there are hardly any major objections after the bond of trust and lines of communication have been established.
And last but not least, your sales presentation doesn’t have to be a marathon. Most of my sales only take a couple minutes once I have established trust and created loyalty. This is done by having a great understanding of who the modern-day customer really is. As homework, I encourage you to read “The Four Basic Customer Type” series that can be found on my website www.moderndayselling.com or here. After reading this five-part series, you will begin to see your customer in a whole new light.
Next time, we will continue our journey as we discover ways to connect with our customer like never before. This will be equivalent to the greeting process, but make no mistake; it will be different from anything that you have heard thus far.
This article is based on the book, “Modern Day Selling: Unlocking your Hidden Potential,” by Brian Barfield. For more information, visit his website at www.moderndayselling.com or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.