Sales People. Eh… They come in all shapes, sizes and colorful personalities. The overbearing soccer mom who is peddling the latest and greatest fad product demanding a commitment to join her and the gals for some kind of women’s only party on Tuesday evening you have no intention of attending. The man with his slicked back hair exposing a thick-link chain necklace from the collar opening hoping to draw your attention to his longhorn belt buckle while wearing his Sunday-best dark brown polyester suit while standing next to a 1970-something muscle car. The lil’ ol’ granny wiping her arthritic hands on a flour-dusted floral apron baking Dutch apple pies in her commercial kitchen from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesday through Friday. The meek friend you haven’t seen in months standing in the grocery aisle praising, “Look at what this product has done for me. I feel fabulous!”
The thing about sales – we all do it whether or not we want to admit it. People will protest, “Oh, but I’m not a sales person. I couldn’t sell water to a parched desert dweller.” Those are the individuals I find most enjoyable to listen to as they describe the item they truly believe in. Watch ’em as they light up. They know the product and/or service. They believe in it and recommend it for various reasons. Without realizing it, they are a walking, talking billboard.
If you are interested in learning about sales or developing more skills, I suggest people watching. Go to the big box stores and listen to the pre-scripted pitch they use on customers. Attend art fairs and listen; do the artist share their passion for their craft or are they hard-selling their item. Sit down in a small café and listen to the owner behind the counter describe her lunch specials. Be an observer; take notes. How do you respond to their tactics? Can you confidently approach potential customers the same way?
We are all sales people whether or not we want to admit it.