I remember once being told, that we all subconsciously sell all the time, whether it be our skills in the workplace, our friendship to potential new friends or trying to snare that all important new love interest!
So, my question is, if we have this natural skill built into us how is it that so many people who actually decide to make a career in the area can make such a hash of it?
To me, some things are just common sense or good manners, for example (and I’ve told you several times before, yet it continues to happen in a regular basis) NEVER call me darling on the phone when you do not know me.
Yet, by the same token, I am occasionally amazed by the natural selling ability of some professionals I come across. I recently viewed a number of venues looking to find somewhere for a conference where my organisation would be spending a cool £100K in just a few days.
The venue I eventually chose, after a great deal of research and personal visits, wasn’t selected because of the wonderful free weekend it gave me with spa treatments, Michelin star meal and the finest bottles of wine Greece could muster. Nor was it because staff specially opened up one of their beachside villas out of season so I could experience waking up to the sound of the Aegean Sea lapping on the shore. Nor even the personal tour-guide laid on to lead me through the stunning historical significance of the Acropolis and Athens in general.
No, because many other venues have been happy to do as much when I have expressed an interest in spending the sizeable corporate budget I have at my company’s disposal. At the same time there are several organisations we use that provide a mere basic level of service but, because that’s just what we pay for, we continue to use them on the basis that they provide “exactly what it says on the tin”.
My decision, in this case, was influenced simply because the hotel’s head sales guy knew exactly how to play his pitch.
He had matched the work and effort I had invested in searching for an appropriate venue with his own research of my company. Thus armed, he knew the right buttons to press, pressed them and then left me alone. No mithering (irritating fussing over the issue for you non-Northerners), no over-the-top pressure – he just had a belief and passion in his product which was infectious. He was your bone fide natural born salesman.
If I contrast this with another company I am dealing with currently, its sales staff are so intent on pushing through their service that they are just not listening to anything I say or giving me any time to deliberate – they will not even give me a trial!
If there is a moral to this story, it is that you need to have belief in your products or services and be able to articulate your genuine passion for them because, if you believe in them, I am far more likely to share that belief.