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Attack Of The Sales Zombies

Jan 27, 2008
I've been updating my computer system (again!) lately and have been making periodic trips out to the local super computer chain store in my area for this or that. A fair amount of the time, I'm able to find what I need, get in and out, without much hoopla. But when I'm looking for a more expensive piece of equipment, I have experienced a little of what I'm calling the Attack of the Sales Zombies.

When is the last time you bought something from a robot. Not an 'actual' robot, but someone with no personality, nothing unique to bring to the table, bland, bland, bland? Someone who reads off a script? Asks the same questions they've been asking over and over with no regard for you or what you actually need or want?

I can tell you. . . if I'm in a store or looking for a new vehicle and the sales zombie comes up and starts in on me, I either determine a) will this be worth helping them out or b) where's the closest exit. There have been times where I'll try to steer them, kindly, into an arrangement that will benefit us both, but there are some sales people so dead set on their 'by the numbers' tactics that I just have to walk away and find the next person.

There are a few very simple things sales professionals can do to understand the true power of persuasion. The first step is to create rapport with prospects and clients. Old fashioned sales training, for the most part, glosses over rapport with a brief 'how's it going?' sort of greeting. Rapport is a deeper than that.

Rapport is pausing briefly on how the client/customer is doing, but really getting to the heart of the matter . . ."So why are we here today?" Why are they in the store? "What will having that do for you?" What will the product or service you provide do for them? "Ultimately, what will having this do for you?" The key is to really listen. LISTEN. Don't push your agenda. Don't try to give them whatever it is you need to sell that particular day unless it will truly fulfill their needs.

For example: if you're a real estate agent, and you understand that the potential client is selling their house to move into a bigger one because their family is growing, you're not going to sell them a smaller house. You're not going to try to sell them a condo with one bedroom. You're going to combine their needs, their values, and their criteria, with the inventory that you have which will work for them. It seems obvious. And for higher end sales professionals, it is obvious.

The experiences I've had lately in retail have been so incredibly frustrating that I want to give sales trainings at the stores where I shop. So if you're ever in the Seattle-Tacoma area and find yourself receiving extraordinarily persuasive and helpful service at a huge computer store, you'll know why. . .
About the Author
Kenrick Cleveland teaches strategies to earn the business of wealthy prospects using persuasion. He runs public and private seminars and offers home study courses and coaching programs in persuasion strategies.
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