More years ago than I care to think about, I sold Dictaphone dictation equipment in Washington, D.C. I was probably the most inept saleswoman the company had ever hired, but in two-and-a-half years I learned a thing or two about the sales process.
So let me tell you about a great experience I had this weekend. You could say that I ended up selling myself with a little help from the salesman, and when you think about it, that’s probably the best way to be sold on anything.
On Saturday morning, I walked into the downtown San Mateo Footwear etc. store with the idea that I’d like to check out MBTs—those funny-looking things with the rocker soles. I’d tried on a similar style of Sketchers at Kohl’s, but with the annoying security tags they stick on athletic shoes, it was well-nigh impossible to get an accurate idea of either the concept or the fit.
The Footwear etc. salesman greeted me with a pleasant smile, and we got down to business. It took about half an hour to get the right fit and to get in some practice walking (as on the deck of a ship). In the process, Bryce and I yakked it up in fractured French and Spanish as we discovered that we both love to talk and adore foreign languages. Bryce listened carefully, too, and was exquisitely patient. He knew exactly when to slip in a quick benefit statement and why I would perceive it as such. He didn’t flinch when I decided to try on the much cheaper Sketchers. He held steady, as a good salesperson does, until I realized that the MBT shoes just plain fit better.
I walked out walkin’ tall, y’all. But just as important, I walked out with a good feeling, a sense of relationship, and not a single shred of buyer’s remorse.
Kay Paumier says
Yes, it is exciting when someone does not “sell,” but instead lets you “buy.” A rare breed these days, I’ve noticed.
Michael Neuendorff says
Ah yes, the caring and patient salesperson – what a gem. Thank you for reminding those of us in sales, i.e., everyone, of what works. I’ll also throw in knowing your products cold.
I enjoy selling as well as coaching and training salespeople. Indeed, we met at a sales seminar I was presenting in Foster City! That was a great reward for that effort.
Laurel Standley says
What a wonderful experience and what an artful salesman. If he wants a second career teaching the rest of us, I’d sign up…