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Sales..Not Just a Transaction

How many of you would raise your hand and say I'm in sales? How many of you say I'm not in sales, but I own a business? If you're a business owner you are in sales, whether that is your

How many of you would say that your I personally work with a lot of sales people and some are there to wow the customer and some are there for their commission. As a customer I can tell quickly which type of sales person I'm dealing with. If I recognize the it's all about my commission salesperson then I typically walk away empty handed. After all isn't it supposed to be about the customer rather than the sale?

I know better than anyone that the sale is what drives the business. I don’t want to drive one transaction I want a repeat sale because I treated the customer right and so they will be back and next time bring a friend. Let’s be honest as a consumer we want to feel like royalty we want to have the best product for us, exceptional customer service and assistance along the way. Even in an online world we have help in our choices and decisions.

Just a quick story to give you an example of poor sales, in my opinion. After my husband and I got married my car (that was paid off) died on me and my husband was very adamant we were not going to put money into it we needed to get me something reliable. Kicking and screaming we went car shopping.

At the time, my husband didn’t know my skill set when it comes to negotiating, nor did he care. His thought was to get me a car. My thought was I have to get the best deal! Time to research and negotiate. As I did my research I knew what I was looking for and what to expect as price. We went to one particular dealer and they had what I wanted but another dealer had the exact same thing but with more bells and whistles. So off we went.

We went in went through the niceties and drove the car. We went in to talk numbers. As a negotiator I knew what I was willing to pay, how I would fund it, and when it was time to walk out. No one else knew I was prepared but I was armed and ready to go. As a side note, a little lesson in social buying habits. Women are typically emotional buyers. We fall in love with something and then have to have it. Men are non-emotional buyers so it’s about the speed, look, and deal for them or just simply about a need not a want. Most sales people are highly aware of this. They understand how buyers connect with items, and their buying habits. They use this to assess their target and hone in on the type of buyer they are. Now as always, this isn’t true 100% of the time but most often this is how it works.

A good sales person will be able to identify the type of buyer they are working with just like a buyer can determine the motives of the sales person. With that being said, this particular sales associate decided to believe that I was an emotional buyer which wasn't the case. Remember I was kicking and screaming and went into deal mode. So he had met the match he wasn’t ready for. During our little game playing of negotiation he started to get frustrated with me, and I honestly was done. Sometimes you just have to take a breath and walk out. This is also a good strategy when you feel like they are not working hard enough on a win-win solution. He started to get very arrogant and at that point, I was tired, and ready to leave. My husband, not wanting to leave the deal on the table (remember this was all his idea) was talking me into staying and hearing them out. Well, when we finished and I walked out, I had negotiated far better deals than they ever expected, and I was very proud of myself, but vowed, I would not go back to that sales person. He had frustrated me in the process. Not only had he done that, but after the sale was complete he didn't hold up to a couple of items he said that he would do. He happen to forget to add the information to the paperwork. So with a tainted view of this particular sales person, I have yet to go back to that dealer.

Let's break down some of what happened. I don't expect that I will always get everything I want out of a deal but I do believe the way you treat me in the process, holding true to your word, and operating with integrity is critical to ensuring not only one sale, but multiple sales. It doesn't matter if the customer is purchasing a car, or a t-shirt the attitude, character, and integrity you operate in will always shine through. Fast forward, my husband needs a car, we were recommended to a dealership near us, and our experience has been outstanding with them. We not only buy our cars there, we have our cars serviced, and the sales person is someone that I would consider a friend. Someone that we have relationship with. He operates with integrity, jokes, and makes you feel comfortable and will work to get you the best deal he can. If he promises something you can guarantee he will make it happen. Two totally different approaches, and guess who I will buy my next car from?

When you building or growing your business you must always realize that sales, should not be viewed only as a transaction, but as an opportunity to impact your customer. How do you do that? Give them an experience every time they are around you, even if you have an ecommerce business. People should feel like you care, and that you are not just trying to make a sale, but that the sale they are making is a good decision for them. When we take time to cultivate relationships, we will begin to see it is less about the sale and more about ensuring that people's lives are impacted by our products or services. Developing a corporate culture at the start of your business, and as you grow will ensure that when people see your name or product that regardless where it is sold, they know it can be trusted. I'm going to do another blog on corporate culture and how to build a strong culture in your business. This is critical to your success, and how you want to be known.

This week, instead of looking for the sale, look for the person that can be impacted in a positive way by your business. Who can you impact this week? Start building relationships that will last longer than one sale, but will turn into multiple sales, and an increase of business because people trust you! That is so important especially now when everyone is selling items that are so similar.

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