Selling is essential to the success of any business. Without sales, there is nothing to be done/made/built and no money to be generated.
Different people have different relationships with the need to sell. Some hate it. Some embrace it.
I saw an article in The New York Times about Katie Francis, 13 years old, who sold 22,000 boxes of Girl Scout cookies in 2015.
That is a lot of cookies and a lot of sales. Here are some points Katie keeps in mind.
Look and Act Like a
Professional, No Matter What
Katie, when meeting and greeting folks, always wears her uniform and has business cards to give to folks.
When selling remodeling, relationship building with potential referral sources and with potential clients requires you to look the part. What impression can you create that will increase your sales? Consider asking some great clients for their opinions.
Move On and Find the
When selling, don’t try to convince those who don’t want to buy. Look for those who do. Spend your time with them.
Sandler Sales suggest something similar. Look for a “yes” or a lesson. A “yes” is a sale or the interest in moving on to the next step in your sales process. A lesson is a “no” followed by you deciding what you could do differently the next time you are in the same situation.
First Step: Secure
Katie goes door-to-door, no matter what the weather happens to be. That would surprise me if I answered the door and someone was selling in the middle of a snowstorm!
She sets up a booth in areas with lots of people moving through them. Katie will then sing songs from the movie “Frozen” with the lyrics modified to motivate people to buy cookies.
For those of you who do home shows these are some interesting suggestions. Those that don’t can still take these ideas and use them to their advantage.
What could you do to make an impression, something so offbeat that whoever saw or talked with you would be likely to tell other folks about you and what you are selling? Ask your team and your trusted suppliers for ideas.
Appeal to All
Katie makes sure her pitch appeals to the every potential buyer, appealing to "hunger, impulsiveness, pity, inner philanthropist, and sweet tooth," according to The New York Times. Different people have different motivations.
When interacting with potential clients consider doing nothing but asking questions. Make sure they are opened-ended. Get your potential clients, the right ones, thinking about your questions. Whatever they say, ask open-ended follow-up questions.
Work with what they say. Sell to that.
Know What You Are
Katie can talk about the ingredients of what she is selling. She can suggest the right cookies for people who are gluten-intolerant or who are allergic to nuts.
What are you selling? Katie is selling a product. You are selling an experience that almost incidentally produces a product.
Know all the features of what you are selling. For instance, your process can save time and money for clients. Only tell the potential client about the few of your company’s features that you have decided are a good fit for the person, after having questioned them for a bit. The correct features will be viewed by the potential client as benefits, making them more likely to buy from you.
Become an Expert at
Katie has been offered jobs and speaking gigs. Her ability to sell has attracted the attention of many professionals.
Always be working on becoming a more effective salesperson. Always. Read, listen, reflect, talk with others who sell. Your business’ success depends on you doing so.
You never know what opportunities will come your way because you do this. Be prepared!
Katie’ mother is critical to Katie’s cookie-selling success. Her mom uses their garage to store up to 10,000 boxes of cookies during the two-month season (22,000 boxes of cookies sold in two months!). She helps Katie with the bookkeeping.
The promises you make when selling will be fulfilled by others in your company. Invest in your relationships with them. Make sure they know what promises you are making. Help them stay focused and positive, no matter what comes at the company.
A Girl Scout cookie seller providing sales insights to those of us who make are living selling? Who would have thought!
Pay attention when anyone makes a pitch to you. There are lessons there, you just have be ready to receive them.
These lessons could make your life a bit sweeter.