Sales Lesson

Up until that particular day in Mrs. Barnes 5th grade class, I really hadn’t paid much attention to girls, but that all changed that late October afternoon. I was sitting in my school desk, daydreaming, when I happened to look to my right and for the first time noticed Charlotte. Had she actually been sitting in the desk beside me since the day after Labor Day?

Her hair was so silky-looking, and then she turned and looked at me. Her smile just froze me in time, until Mrs. Barnes voice interrupted my short vacation. The next thing I heard was, “I need everyone’s attention up here at the front of the room.”

My head snapped back front and center, but I couldn’t get Charlotte’s smile out of mind’s eye. I decided to make contact under the radar, so I scribbled a, Do you like me, yes or no note, and folded it over about six times and slipped it to her when Mrs. Barnes started writing something on the board.

When I unfolded Charlotte’s reply, she had checked yes. Two months later her Dad’s employer relocated the entire family to Houston over the Christmas holidays. I never saw Charlotte again, except occasionally when I would close my eyes and think about her silky hair.

I’m sure many of you have sent or received a note like this during your grade school years, but, I wonder if you realize that you are still sending them as adult salespeople today, without the pencil and paper, of course.

Nobody wants to fiddle around wondering whether a buyer likes you or not, but sometimes it’s awkward, just like the way you felt in grade school. I know from experience, rejection sucks, but you just have to learn to shrug it off and keep stumbling forward.

However, it is just plain nerve wracking waiting for a buyer’s phone call or a response to an appointment follow-up request. Wouldn’t it resolve the dilemma if you were to simply pass a note? I suppose it would be more profitable to send an email or text message asking, “Would you like to see me again, Yes or No? – Choose one.”

Probably that’s an elementary suggestion, so how do you build rapport, considering it’s one of the most important qualities sales people need.

Confidence Level

Since people buy from people they like, I believe it’s more important to build rapport and be likeable than it is to be a great closer or objection handler. That said, as you learn to build rapport, here are a few suggestions that will speed up the process, once you learn to use them:

  • Begin every encounter with a firm handshake and a smile.
  • Telegraph respect continually.
  • Portray energy and enthusiasm, since nobody likes wimps.
  • Project self-confidence so buyers won’t think it’s your first rodeo.
  • Develop the ability to make others feel comfortable.
  • Remain conversational & consultative.
  • Use some self-deprecating humor.
  • Be well-intentioned, well-informed and well-mannered.

Prove your interest with eye contact, relevant questions, and employing active listening habits.

Think about some of the people you most enjoy being around; how many of those characteristics do they possess? These are a great jumpstart to get yes checked on your next prospect request!

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