The main ingredient for increasing sales.
hink about this for a minute: What do Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Amway salespeople, and Mary Kay representatives who drive pink Cadillacs have in common? Give up?
The answer is an “unshakable belief.” They talk about what they believe in all the time. They’re sold on it. They’re happy to get into a conversation about their beliefs with anybody, anytime. You just can’t sway their thinking... and there isn’t anything wrong with that. But just question their beliefs or their products, and they’ll give you reasons, answers, and product information for as long as you’d like to listen. These people love sharing their beliefs with others. They believe it, and they’d like you to believe it as well.
Same thing goes for salespeople who sell Steinway pianos, Mercedes-Benz automobiles, Rolex watches, or Franklin planners. You are not going to convince these people that there is a better product out there. It just won’t happen, so save your breath.
Now, with all that being said, wouldn’t this kind of belief in your product make a definite difference in your presentations to customers? If you’re the dealer, do you truly believe that what you sell is the best made product, or the best product for the money, or the most technically advanced, or the absolute best product to fill your customer’s need? If you’re the salesperson, do you get excited when you show it? Do you get an adrenaline rush when you explain features and benefits?
A friend of mine works for a national insurance company. He does okay. He was explaining a policy to me that’s earning him some decent commissions. He said, he can beat anybody’s plan on this. It’s a great policy. I can run circles around the other insurance programs except for maybe ABC Company and XYZ, Inc. And that’s what separates the big-hitters from the also-rans. He just doesn’t have that fire built up inside of him to think that his insurance company is absolutely, without a doubt, the very best.
I decided to replace my garage door opener last week. I called around looking for prices. I had almost decided to go with one company; their prices were a little higher, but I thought they had the most to offer. Then I asked the salesperson on the phone why I shouldn’t just buy from Sears and install them myself. (I had no intention of doing this I don’t even know which end of a screwdriver to use, but I just wanted to see what he’d say.)
He said, “Well heck, you could do that and pay about half.” I hung up and called the next company in the yellow pages.
Another friend of mine sells digital keyboards. He loves what he does. He gets so excited demonstrating them that he can’t wait to tell you about it. He loves to say “This is so great, you’re just not going to believe it. Watch! Listen! Let me show you!” His vocabulary is punctuated with superlatives and exclamation points and his own special emphasis. Victor Borge would have loved him. His sales increase every month. He does well year after year, and with an attitude like that, it’s no wonder.
I recently took my car in for a simple oil and lube. I went looking around the showroom while it was being done. The salesperson that sold me the car a year ago came over; I told him that I might trade in one of my cars for the new SUV, since it has the expanded, updated OnStar feature that can’t be retro-fitted into older models. I explained that we work with OnStar. He knows we work with the car manufacturer. They are one of our biggest clients. He began telling me that the new models aren’t selling well, there’s no competitive lease deal right now, and “that OnStar thing is expensive if you don’t use it.” Not exactly what I wanted to hear. It almost forced me to keep what I have.
The idea here is that you and your salespeople want to be so excited and entrenched in belief that nothing will come in the way of your thinking; not the competitive manufacturers, not the customer, not other salespeople. Try telling a Girl Scout you don’t like her cookies, and she’ll probably cry. Everybody likes Girl Scout cookies. It’s un-American not to buy them. Girl Scouts believe it. They think you should too. When they come to your door, they know it’s not a question of whether you’re going to buy them. It’s a question of which ones and how many? If your customer comes into your store looking for furniture, do you already assume they would be crazy not to do business with you? Is it just a question of finding the products you sell that best meet their wants and needs?
You need unshakable belief in what you’re selling, faith in yourself, and enthusiasm for the products and services your business provides. Belief is the main ingredient. It will weather a bad stock market, a downturn in the economy, and any type of business fluctuations. The easiest way to increase your sales is to sell what you really believe in. You become unstoppable. You will talk about it to all your customers, your friends, and at every cocktail party you ever go to.
Enthusiasm coupled with belief may not move mountains, but it can move margins upward. So here’s my thought: If you’re not selling something you truly believe in, find something else to sell. Selling something you can’t stand behind becomes a job. Selling a product you believe in is like riding a bicycle downhill. No effort. And lots of fun, too.
Bob Popyk is the publisher of Creative Selling®, a monthly newsletter on sales and marketing strategies for high-ticket retailers. His sales meetings and seminars are presented worldwide to major companies and industries. Questions on any aspect of sales education can be sent to FURNITURE WORLD at firstname.lastname@example.org.