Sell Like a Girl Scout!
Who are the most successful sales people in the world? Girl Scouts. Can you really turn one of those cute, green clad damsels away? How about your clients? Do they receive you as warmly? Unfortunately, you don’t need to be in sales very long before you experience your first “No”. What do the Girl Scouts know that we can employ to increase our sales?
To begin with, we as adults tend to approach selling scout it up with an incorrect belief about sales. We tend to believe that great techniques and product knowledge will close more sales. This belief stems from the idea sales professionals get people to buy. Actually much sales training and literature focuses on techniques to “get people to buy” instead of focusing on the people factors involved in the sales process. Girl Scouts on the other hand tend to be successful for three reasons. We know, like and 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 remember selling Girls Scout cookies when I was a kid. I’m sure most of your have purchased and consumed pounds of these over the years. ( And gained pounds in the process.) I didn’t know the ingredients, calories or fat content. I knocked on the door, smiled and held up a box. I was only turned down when another Girl Scout had beaten me to the punch. (My first tutorial in ‘You snooze, you lose’.)
The lesson gained from the Girls Scout ‘sales method’ is simple: You purchase because you know, like and trust the product and the organization representing it.
Relationships form the foundation for all long-term, repeat sales and quality referrals.
In the adult world of sales 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.
Great products, flawless presentations and price comparisons may get you a few small sales. Memorizing some closing techniques will help you get a few more. However, to reap a large harvest in the sales profession, you have to step beyond depending upon the products to sell themselves or relying on memorized closing techniques. As you listen to your client and forge a good professional relationship, you will better understand their needs and desires. To find ways that your product or service can help your customer you must effectively communicate and connect with them. This is the essence of rapport and rapport takes time to cultivate. Walking in ‘cold’, spouting off products and features and pressing for a close is a self-serving and ineffective sales technique.
Do not misunderstand. I highly recommend you know your product and that you learn some closing techniques to use as appropriate. These techniques support your relationship, they do not replace it. Without a good working relationship, techniques become skilled manipulation tactics for getting the sale rather than tools to help your customer reach a decision about solving their problem. When this happens, you increase the odds of creating customer dissatisfaction and buyer’s remorse.