By Brian Barfield
Along our journey to discovering the modern day sales presentation, I have shared with you insights that have revolutionized my sales career. I hope the importance of seeing your sales presentation in a new light, re-establishing the bond of trust with your customer, and connecting with him or her, has resonated with you and impacted your sales career in a meaningful way.
Now, I’d like to share the importance of examining and creating your own selling style and how it sets the tone for your sales presentation.
In previous articles, I have spoken of ways we have missed the mark in sales training as an industry. This has led to the birth of three negative selling styles that have given us all a bad reputation.
At this point you may be asking, “What is a selling style?”
Well, a selling style is simply the way you choose to sell your customer. It defines who you are as a sales associate, as well as how you are perceived by your customers and colleagues. Let me better explain this by describing the three negative selling styles you will find on today’s sales floor if you take the time to look.
The first is the ‘look-at-me’ sales associate. This type of employee truly believes they know everything and can’t wait to tell you all about it. Usually, they are very skilled and knowledgeable in the art of selling their product. The only problem is their selling style is ruled by vanity and selfishness.
Here are some examples of a look-at-me sales associate: A customer comes in and shares they just got back from a wonderful family vacation in the Bahamas. Instead of acknowledging the customer’s trip and making it all about their customer, what do you think they will do? They proceed to mention they have been there 15 times already or talk about their trip to Hawaii. Their response screams “look at me!”
Another example is one I am sure many of you can relate to—watching the look-at-me sales associate try to sell a product to someone who already knows what they want. The customer simply wants to get in and get out with their product. However, given they fell victim to the look-at-me sales associate, this is just not going to happen, unfortunately. Instead, the sales associate proceeds to talk for 30 minutes about their knowledge and skill of the product, while the customer tries to politely find a way out. Yep. You guessed it, “look at me!”
Many of you may be laughing to yourselves now, knowing all too well how life working alongside a look-at-me sales associate can be. Watching them work can quickly rollercoaster between being amusing and entertaining, to incredibly sad and frustrating because they just don’t get it.
The next negative selling style you will have seen is the bad fisherman technique—the sales associate who subscribes to this has a strict routine and refuses to change it up for any reason. You see, at one point they very well may have been catching fish with this exact selling style, but after a while, their hot spot was fished-out. They show up to work every day doing the same old thing, only to find the fish are not biting their bait any longer. They refuse to find a new selling style or hot spot where success may be found. In other words, they have become a very bad fisherman.
The final negative selling style is that of the heart transplant. This is where the sales associate focuses on the small and insignificant parts of selling, rather than taking care of the heart of the matter. In a bridal sale, they focus more on the certification of a diamond, instead of finding the mounting style the bride absolutely loves.
They don’t realize that if you connect with your customers and establish a bond of trust early on, you won’t need to spend so much time on the little things like certification. The only reason the customer needs certification is because they don’t trust you. I very rarely ever have to use a cert when selling a diamond ring. By the time we find the setting, I generally suggest what they should put in the middle based on our conversation and, most of the time, I get the thumbs up.
There are factors at work that bring all three of these negative selling styles to life; qualities like selfishness, fear, and greed are at the forefront of the issue.
In the modern day sales presentation, I encourage you to find a new selling style filled with passion, energy, and a serving attitude. Make your customers’ needs the focal point of your sales presentation. Try to see the sale through their eyes. Make their experience a fun and entertaining outing. Strive to be seen as a trustworthy, fun, and knowledgeable associate.
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.