Have you ever wondered which industry is number 1 in sales? Who are the individuals who sell the most and have the largest pool of loyal, repeat clients? Are they in insurance? Real-estate? IT? Actually they are the Girl Scouts. Can you actually resist them or their products? Consider your clients? How loyal are they to you and your product or service? Here are a few great sales tips from our young ladies in green.
Carefully consider that sales professionals are often guilty of approaching sales with an incorrect idea. They have been known to believe that great techniques and product knowledge are the chief factors in closing sales. This belief stems from the idea that their job is to get people to buy. Unfortunately this is much of what is being taught instead of focusing on the people factors involved in the sales process.
The Girl Scouts tend to be successful for 3 basic reasons. 1)We know, 2) we like and 3) we trust them.
“(If ) selling were as simple as knowing your product… your function would be like a catalogue or reference book, supplying the correct answers to technical questions on demand. Once Mr. Prospect had all of the information, your job was finished. This, to be sure, is not how it is at all.”- James R. Fisher Jr.
I was one of the top selling Girls Scouts as a kid. I’m sure most of your have purchased and consumed pounds of these over the years. ( And gained pounds in the process.) Interestingly enough, I had no idea about the ingredients, calories or fat content. I simply knocked on the front door, projected my most beautiful smile and held up a box of cookies. Even if another Girl Scout had sold cookies at the same address the customer usually purchased a few more boxes from me.
Here is the lesson you want to come away with from the Girls Scout ‘sales method’ : You purchase because you know, like and trust the product and the organization representing it.
These types of relationships form the foundation for all long-term, repeat sales and quality referrals. This is called rapport.
Sales is not about selling product. It is about building rapport. Our ‘job’ is to develop rapport with clients. Rapport is the deepest level of relationship you can have with another individual in the business setting. When a relationship is at rapport clients will purchase from you again and again as well as provide you with quality referrals.
Fabulous products, perfect presentations and competitive prices may get you a few small sales. Skillfully using closing techniques will help you gain a few more. However, to reap a large harvest in the sales profession, you really need to go beyond depending upon the products to sell themselves or relying on memorized closing techniques. As you listen to your client and develop a good professional relationship, you will have greater insight into their needs and desires. Finding ways your product or service can help your customer wil require you to effectively communicate and connect with them. This is the essence of rapport and rapport takes time to cultivate. Dropping in ‘cold’, spouting off products and features and pressing for a close is a self-serving and ineffective sales technique.
Certainty you need knowledge of your product or service. I highly recommend you know your product and that you learn some closing techniques and use them appropriately. Please note that these techniques support your relationship, they cannot replace it. Minus a great relationship with your client, these techniques become skilled manipulation tactics for sealing the deal rather than tools to help your client reach a decision regarding this purchase. Remember more than anything else, you want to avoid buyers remorse and client dissatisfaction which often accompanies sales manipulation.
“Personal relationships are the fertile soil from which all advancement, all success, all achievement in real life grows.” Ben Stein
Like all good things rapport takes time, patience and a genuine concern to help your client. Become your clients trusted advisor. Take the time to focus on developing a great connection with your client and you will close more sales!