My first experience selling was in college when I helped promote success rallies for a now long-time friend. After graduation I held sales positions in the magazine publishing business. I was never the top performer but I learned to sell well. I’ve learned from direct experience and continue to be a student of selling.
Sales lessons are everywhere if you pay attention, and my latest came from receiving a gift.
A woman approached me after I’d spoken to a professional organization and presented me with a wrapped gift. “Everyone needs one of these.” That was the best opening line I can recall for a yet unknown item. I then opened the box to find a small metal liquid container that could be used for any number of things. It was small enough to be convenient, large enough to be useful, waterproof to inspire confidence, high quality in its appearance, and aesthetically pleasing.
I thanked the woman for her generosity and she continued:
“I’ve admired your work and wanted to connect with you for some time. This bottle is incredibly useful and now that you have it, you’ll find yourself using it frequently. And you’ll agree with me that everyone needs one.”
She wasn’t selling me the bottle as it was a gift. She was selling me on the value of the bottle. A gift that is desired is far better than a gift that is simply accepted.
Her positioning and explanation of the gift gave me quick insight into her professionalism. She was thoughtful. She didn’t give me some swag that I’d discard later.
I have and use that container. It is practical, and I need it now (even though I didn’t know I needed it until I met the giver).
“Everybody sells” is a cliche and like most cliches, at least partially true. The important question is, “Sells what?”
My new friend wanted to make a connection, and she did it by giving a simple but not insignificant gift. I learned that we don’t want what everybody has, we want what everybody needs. If you can convince your potential buyer that they really need what you sell, and then deliver on that promise, you’ll find exceptional success.
Sure, everybody sells. But what do you sell? And how can you convince others that what you sell is something that everybody really needs.
And here are two things you really need: the ability to turn ordinary into extraordinary. Here’s where you can learn how to do it: www.FredFactor.com.
And if you give digital presentations as part of your work, you need to know how to do that very well. Visit Virtual Presentations Institute for comprehensive training and certification.
Mark Sanborn is an award winning speaker and Leadership Expert in Residence at High Point University, the Premier Life Skills University. For more information about his work, visit www.marksanborn.com.