The Holiday Hunter

posted: Friday, November 1, 2013

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There's a belief in sports that says the intensity is different from the regular season to the playoffs. It doesn't matter what the sport is; when the playoffs begin, the intensity and the concentration increases. In sales, the holiday season could also be referred to as the playoffs of selling. In the next few weeks, we are going to take a look at a number of different things in an effort to make to 2013 holiday selling season your best ever.

The first thing I think of when we get into the holiday shopping season is the customers. They, as a whole, are a different group from the group that salespeople work with during the other 12 months of the year.

First you have the people who only shop during this season and would rather be doing almost anything else. They want to get in, get what they want and get out. So how can you as a salesperson help?

As salespeople we are trained to establish relationships and develop a repeat customer base; that is not the primary goal in this case. A professional salesperson must be able to recognize a customer who just wants to get it over with, and then help them in doing so.

Let's look at an example; a gentleman is looking for a diamond bracelet for his wife and comes in to your store on his lunch hour. He's obviously not all that interested in spending a lot of time looking around and would probably prefer to be done in time to still get something to eat. The best thing a salesperson can do is make it short and sweet.

Ask simple and direct questions designed to get the customer to tell you what they want. Once you have an idea of what he is looking for, show him the bracelets that fit into that category. The odds are that if you ask the right questions and listen to the answers, you are going to make a sale.

The funny part is that by not trying to develop a relationship or establishing a repeat customer, the odds are that you might do both by simply giving the customer what he wanted; the right gift in a short-period of time. At this point you should still attempt to get name and contact information for future follow-up. Every customer, be it a hunter or shopper, can all be potential person trade and repeat business.

Next time we will look at the mindset of holiday shoppers; it's not always pretty.

FINAO - Brad Huisken

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