Since the best sales people think like buyers, take advantage of December to work on self-awareness. Most of us will be doing holiday shopping, if not personal shopping. Here’s a good awareness exercise while shopping: How do you like to be treated by sales people, even at retail?
I wasn’t Christmas shopping (no, I’m not the Scrooge, in this particular moment I wasn’t Christmas shopping, but trust me, Ghost of Christmas Future, I will be soon!), I was looking for a new suit. I walked into
one of my favorite men’s stores and up to the suit department. Several salespeople asked if I needed help, and I politely declined — for I like to get in to my zone, eye out a suit (or any piece of apparel), then, as I start to sell myself, begin asking questions in which, yep, I hope the the salesperon does the right things to help me buy!
But not this salesperson. Soon I was in a scene from the movie “Platoon” shouting, “Incoming! Incoming!” A sales lady was launching one shell after another — showing me jacket after jacket, telling me how good one (very expensive) jacket looked on me, pulling matching trousers off the hanger and insisting I try them on. She also began pulling the pins out of a very nice business shirt, since I was in a Saturday sweater, and I didn’t want to see the store squander their inventory. I was beginning to feel indebted, without having even enquired, merely by walking in to their place of business. I retracted a bit. So she grabbed another suit, and said, “And how about this? A great suit for important meetings”
I had to run for cover. I had apparently strayed in to enemy territory. I politely declined, smiled, strolled to the other side of the section (near the stairs, my foxhole, to depart) but she persisted. I was still polite (I think) when I evasively asked, “Until what time will you be open?”… even though, I had no interest in coming back on her shift!
This sales person wasn’t helping me buy, wasn’t going at my pace, and didn’t read my polite (really I was, you know, polite) signals as objections. She was trying to sell me product. I didn’t want to be sold to. I only wanted to buy. If she were thinking like a buyer, she would’ve backed off and allowed me to… sell myself on something, before helping me work through the details when I was good and ready. Instead, she lost the sale.
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