Sales is simple. Success is simple. Life can be simple. It is people who make it complicated. When I speak at conferences or work with individuals in coaching sessions, they often ask for the “advanced” stuff, explaining that they are good at what they do and that they already know the simple stuff. They are not interested in looking at the basics and checking that they are not missing any tricks.
Selling is simple. The best salespeople in the world do the simple stuff really, really well. Really well. For sure, they may have advanced strategies and techniques too but it is their mastery of the simple stuff that sets them apart from their competition, their handle on the core principles that engages clients and helps them to make more sales.
After I have spoken at conferences, people often come back to me and say that they have massively increased their sales. I always ask them, “What was it for you that helped you to do that?” And I would love it if they answered that it was the magical, sales, Jedi tricks that only I can teach… but they do not.
They usually say that it was something simple that they knew, maybe even used to do, but just do not do as consistently any more. Starting doing it again made all the difference for them and their sales results.
Here is a little sales tale, something that happened whilst we were on holiday in Spain, involving a humble street, sales person. His simple strategies show just how the mastery of simple techniques can massively increase your sales…
We were in Alicante – me, my wife and my three children – and we had just ordered some paella. We were sitting outside in a square, the sun was shining and all was good with the world. Just then, a street trader (salesperson) approached us. Now, usually I am pretty good at sending these people packing but there was something about the way that this chap approached us… he looked a little bit smarter, he had a warming smile and he just seemed like a nice guy.
As he approached us, he held something up which looked like (and was) and apple-shaped chopping board but when he flicked his wrist, it dropped down and became a fruit bowl. He put this fruit bowl down onto the table in front of us.
This got my wife’s attention and she asked, “How much?” And the smiled and said, “Well, most things I am prepared to negotiate on but these are top quality and I am afraid they are non-negotiable… they are 30 euros.” My wife looked at the bowl and then looked at him and said that they were too expensive.
The salesman then said it was fine and he turned to leave but, just as he was about to leave, he turned back, put his hand into his pocket and pulled out a tiny, hand-carved elephant. He put this in front of my youngest daughter Harriet who was nearly one year old and he said, “For her. For good luck. For life.” And then he turned and he walked off.
As we waited for our Paella, we watched him visit various other people and various other tables and then, on his way past on the way back, and as an aside, he asked, “What would you offer?” My wife said, “Fifteen euros.”
He looked at her and he said, “I am sorry. I can’t do anything on fifteen euros but if you were to buy two, I could probably do you some kind of deal.” A negotiation took place and my wife bought two of these chopping board come fruit bowls.
Sales is simple. Have a think about what he did and why he did it and how that helped him turn what was probably a no sale into two sales… and at very little discount. How many techniques did you spot? How many simple sales tips can you use more effectively in your business?