Selling Is For People

So,
it’s your last blog post.  After nearly 700 posts, how do you go out with a
bang?  I’ve decided to pass along some insights from Steve Jeffery, the Senior
Vice President of our Home Sewing Division.  We were reminiscing about days gone
by and reflecting on how different things are today.  But one thing hasn’t
changed.  People buy things from
people

 

Nick
Tacony knew that.  We all know that.  The best ad in the world doesn’t mean a
thing if you don’t sell something to the person who comes in the door.  The sale
happens when one person convinces another person that the first person’s product
or service is worth more than the cash the second person has in his/her pocket. 
That’s all there is to it.

 

When
Steve was in the retail business he was a great believer in advertising.  He ran
ads every week.  But he didn’t stop there. His entire store was pre-programmed
to take advantage of the traffic that came into the store.  He told me that he
used to re-hang his ceiling fan display almost every week to make it easy for
his sales people to walk the customer through the selling process.  It was a
smooth flow from the advertised model through the up-sell models and
accessories, right to the cash register.  Sure it was a lot of work.  But it was
work that paid off in sales and profit.

 

And
when they got to the register, there were the impulse
items
, waiting to be added to the sale.  A retail sale is like a stage
performance.  All the right pieces must be in place to have a successful
outcome.  Can you imaging a Broadway play where there was no script?  There were
no props?  No one rehearsed?  With some slight exceptions, every single
performance of a successful production is essentially the same as the one
before.  There’s no room for ad libbing.

 

We live
in a new and exciting world!  As I’ve pointed out on this blog for almost
three years, the new forms of electronic communication level the playing field
between the “big box stores” and the independents.  Blogs, podcasts, social
networks like Facebook and MySpace, and mini-blog sites like twitter are free for you to use and you can
buy extremely targeted advertising to reach just the people you want to reach. 
Considering the short time it’s taken to develop these tools, I can’t imagine
what’s going to be available to you in the coming years.  All I know is that it
will be exciting for those who chose to take advantage.

 

One of
the famous sales trainers, I think it was Zig Ziglar, said “You have to treat
the customer so many different ways that she has to like one of them.”  That’s
the key.  The level of competition today is at a level unheard of just a few
years ago.  Instead of losing a sale to the guy down the street, you can lose a
sale to someone half way around the world.  You have to be sure that the experience of shopping
with you provides value beyond just the merchandise in the box
.  If
you do that, you’ll make not just a customer, but you’ll make a friend.  And
that friend will be excited to tell her other friends about you.  And when those
other friends come in and find out that what they’ve heard is true, you’ll be
building a constant stream of prospects and repeat customers that will get you
through any economic downturn.

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3 Responses

  1. I want to thank Mike Buckley for creating the MYOB blog and making it the high quality, high value tool for the independent retailer that it is today.

    Mike’s dedication to serving the customer is not just something that he writes about but something that he has practiced consistently during his 29 years with Tacony Corporation.

    My Grandmother O’Rourke was heard to say that God smiles on the Irish. May His smile always be focused on Mike, Jan and their wonderful family.

    Bill Hinderer

  2. Mike,
    Thank you for making me think outside the box on many occasions. Later Ralph @ Ralph’s Vacuum & Sewing Center

  3. Ralph,
    Thank you for the nice comment. I think that’s what blogs are for; not to preach but to encourage readers to think for themselves. I’m glad I was able to do that for you. Have a Merry Christmas.

    Mike

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