Attention: This is NOT about religion! You’ll see what I mean…
When we look at the blue collar service industries as a whole, many front line team members still have an issue with the word sales, the concept of sales, and most often, the all encompassing title of "salesperson". I'm still not exactly sure why this perception has become so misunderstood in our industries, but I'm also crystal clear that perception is reality. We must understand this and act accordingly based on current environment.
I've written about sales in many different contexts over the years, but this week I want to point some questions back to you, your culture, and your sales positioning strategy for your company. Quality based sales positioning strategies helps define your culture and team member perception when it comes to sales and what it means inside your business.
I've always said that a sale is what makes the world go around and without sales, nothing would happen. The cab company that took me to the airport Monday made a sale and delivered me where I needed to go, Subway (our only choice in the Grand Junction airport) made a sale that morning so Christy and I could have breakfast before our flight, the airline made a sale so I could travel to my client this week, the hotel made a sale so we have a place to stay and sleep at night, The Blue Collar Success Group made a sale of my coaching/training services or we wouldn't have come to the Pacific Northwest this week or none of those other sales would have happened.
We all seem to be just fine when we are receiving benefits from the sales that are made to us, but as soon as we put on our own salesperson hat, our personal perception of sales seems to change instantly.
Why is this? Sales are a necessary part of a healthy and well functioning society. Where else do you think “sales” shows up in a positive way that we don't seem to think about too much? Maybe it's not a service or sales call at all...or is it?
When the lovely Christy and I boarded our flight early Monday morning, we sat directly behind a younger man that was reading a small, hand held style book entitled, "Reasoning from the Scriptures". I wasn't being nosy, it's just that he was holding the book up high as he was reading and the seats are close enough to see exactly what the book he was holding was about. (Ok, at this point I might just be being a little bit nosy).
As I notice the section he's reading from is subtitled, "Conversation Stoppers", I quickly realize more about the content of his book. There are bold quotes on each page with a pushback or conversation stopper that could be brought up to a missionary or someone attempting to share information about their religion. After the quote, there are bullet points helping to handle this particular objection.
Without “creeping” on him too much I see some of the common objections that people doing what he does must hear; I'm too busy, I'm not religious, I'm a Buddhist, were Adam and Eve real or fictional?
Is this sales 101 or what?
Absolutely this is sales, but it's not called that because nobody "buys" religion, right? Or do they? Is it possible that we all "buy" into the beliefs we carry with us, regardless of what they are? Of course we do, but it's framed differently so we don't think of it as sales.
Please understand I'm not talking about religion here whatsoever, I'm just making a point about the underlying conversations that happen every day in a vast array of other context that we don't ever label as "sales".
What can we take away from this today that can improve our businesses?
Realize that sales are everywhere and is a positive part of our culture. Identify what sales means to you and how effectively you communicate about sales in your own company. Pay attention to sales tips and strategies as they are being used around you all day every day.
The more comfortable you are with a well trained sales based culture, the better service your customers will receive, your team members will make more money, and your profits will improve. Ask any of the clients I work with onsite or companies that attend our live service and sales school and you’ll know we’re not pushy, hardcore, “in your face” type salespeople.
We simply help the front line team educate their clients on what is going on as they increase their own conviction for doing the right thing, which is offering all the options for the customer in every repair, replacement, or upgrade opportunity.