Tall Tales in the Retail World: Sales and Management Training

I am a vertically enhanced female which I normally see as a benefit, except when I am trying to buy clothing.  Most of the clothing options for women do not come with a choice for inseam or length.  This often leaves me in the dressing room wondering if I can pull of this dress being too short or do these jeans look like capris or a fashion faux pas.  I am stuck in a world in which one-height-fits-all in ladies fashion.

Having been in customer service, it is hard for me to choke down being the customer without the service.  I take long deep breaths and bite my tongue, as a salesperson rolls their eyes at me for taking outfit after outfit back to the changing room and still coming out empty handed.  To that salesperson, I am just a statistic and one in which there is a diminishing ratio of time spent in service over amount of commission made.  At that moment, I am no longer a person but some retail catch phrase.

A few years ago, I was afforded the unique opportunity to attend and complete a course on being a hostage.  The focus on this training was how to increase the survivability ratio.  The training was in-depth and extensive, but if I had to boil it down to one concept that seemed to improve survivability…make yourself a real person!   It is difficult to dismiss someone you can relate to and to your captive, psychologically it is more difficult to kill someone they have a connection to.

As a perspective buyer, I refuse to be held hostage by retail nomenclature.  I am a person and deserve to be treated as such.  In order to gain this level of respect, I start off each buying experience with making myself real to the salesperson.  I use the salesperson’s name.  I treat the salesperson as my equal and with the same respect I wish to have them bestow on me.  I look for talk points on things we might have in common.  I ask questions, listen and entertain their advice.  Even if they cannot help me, I give them the opportunity to point me in another direction and thank them for their assistance.  I demonstrate to the salesperson that I am a person and a potential buyer.

If you want to be known for providing the best in customer service, flip the script!  In management and sales performance training, teach your team how to connect with prospects and avoid the pitfall of seeing a potential buyer as just another catch phrase or statistic.  When your sales and management teams are connected to someone, it is difficult to disregard their feelings because they are now seen as an equal.  A salesperson or sales manager can now relate to this person as if they stood in those very same shoes. The ability to relate must occur before the sales can be made.

Most decisions to purchase are connected to some level of emotion.  Therefore, building a relationship is the key to building trust.  If your team is vested in their emotion, they are no longer engaging in a one-size-fits-all sales process.  Being able to custom fit the sales experience to the prospect not only increases the likelihood of closing the sale, but also the potential for continued business and referrals.

 

Copyright 2011 All Rights Reserved

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Comment by Stephanie Young on September 7, 2011 at 10:17am
Thank you, Julie.  Some of my best long standing clients are like friends....my professional friends to be exact.
Comment by Julie Heilman on September 7, 2011 at 10:02am
Great blog post.  It is easier to dismiss someone when you do not see them as your equal and a person just like you.  Sales really is about creating that relationship before creating the sale.  BTW, love the picture you have for this blog.  I know which one is you.....smile.
Comment by Stephanie Young on August 31, 2011 at 3:38pm
Marsh, you are class, class, class...first class all the way.
Comment by Stephanie Young on August 31, 2011 at 3:38pm
Fran, I don't just like it....I LOVE IT!!!!
Comment by Fran Taylor on August 31, 2011 at 3:25pm

Thanks Stephanie. My sales training book is called , Selling From The Heart.  What is inside comes out and I guess people liked it. 

 

Comment by Marsh Buice on August 31, 2011 at 2:42pm
I have rich, leather-bound books...My office smells of rich mahoghany
Comment by Stephanie Young on August 31, 2011 at 2:39pm
You BALD guys I heard are kind of a big deal.  LOL
Comment by Stephanie Young on August 31, 2011 at 2:38pm
Fran, thank you.  I think I would enjoy being remembered as a great story teller.  My grandfather was a master at story telling, especially if there was a fire pit involved.  I like your story as it sounds like you were selling from the heart.  Building a relationship is key to building that trust.  If your trust someone, you tend to trust them with your hard earned money during the sell.  Great way of being if you want to succeed.  As for the dating tips, I think I might have to create a new discussion group or something...lol.
Comment by Jim Kristoff on August 31, 2011 at 12:59pm
LOVE this!! - BALD is beautiful (Building A Lifetime of Development)
Comment by Marsh Buice on August 31, 2011 at 12:53pm
@ Jim..."That just happened..." (Taledega Nights --spelling)  BALD is beautiful (Building A Lifetime of Development)

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