Make a Friend!

posted: Wednesday, February 4, 2009

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Well here, we are in February again, the holidays are over, the economic situation is affecting everyone, and summer is not yet on the horizon. Just as August is often described as the "dog days" for baseball, it can also be argued that the next two or three months are the "dog days" of selling. So how do we get through this time? Well first, it is not a matter of getting through. Getting through offers up a negative connotation and professional salespeople must always remain positive and upbeat. There are some things to keep in mind that will help you through the "dog days."

The first is setting goals and I am not talking about the goals that you should have set about a month ago. No, I am talking about setting daily goals that may or may not be related to how many sales you achieve in a day. It is important to recognize that this time of year, or when things are tough is the time to increase your skills and knowledge. Rather than cutting back on training, you should increase your training. Fine tune your skills and understand that the real goal of a sales presentation is to make a friend. The reason is simple; people want to buy from their friends and not from a stereotypical salesperson. So try setting a goal such as getting to know five new customers today. There are many benefits to a goal such as this but two immediately jump to mind.

The first is simply the idea that during the process of getting to know customers, you may just make a sale. You may have people who are actually browsing, getting ideas, window-shopping, coming in for a repair etc. but you may be able to change their mind and help them to decide to buy now, if the customer feels that, you as a salesperson have taken an interest in them and their needs.

Secondly, even if you do not close a sale on that given day, the next best thing is establishing a relationship; sell yourself and your store. It may lead to one or more sales down the road. The trick here is to stay positive especially if the customer decides not to make a purchase today. During the "dog days," it is important to remember that what a customer may not buy today, they might buy tomorrow. It is up to you to make sure you are the salesperson they come back to when they are ready to buy.

There is no getting around the fact that the economic conditions have affected sales, but that does not mean salespeople should not keep selling. Just remember the relationship you establish today may land you a sale tomorrow.

FINAO - Brad Huisken - IAS Training

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