I almost started laughing when I heard her say it…but there was nothing funny about it. It confirmed what I have always believed and shared in my training sessions, but when I actually heard it in public, it still caught me by surprise. I was sitting at round table for eight at a Friday evening wedding. Sitting at the table adjacent to ours was a young and attractive woman with what I would call an “off-the-shoulder dress.”
Don’t jump to conclusions. It was an appropriate black dress for the occasion. It did however allow a clear showing of a tattoo sculpted on the back of her right shoulder. It was large enough…and prominent enough to solicit attention from everybody within a five-mile radius. It was a tattoo of a “shark.”
When spotting the “ink-job” I asked my wife Barbara when she was planning on doing a little ink-work herself. This is a question I ask her at least once a week. Barbara is just not the type…yet. (I have learned in my old age never to say never about anything.) Barbara said to me, “I bet she is a lawyer. A shark! Get it?” Although it never dawned on me that she might be a professional legal agent, I immediately saw the connection.
But when the woman on my left, a complete stranger to me, came back with “or she might be in sales” I gasped for air and took a long swig from my glass of Bud to help conceal my reaction. Yes, my friends, you say salesperson and more often than not, a shark comes into focus. You say salesperson, and today’s educated consumers see manipulating, aggressive commission-seeking, fast-talking, insincere, money hungry goons and goonettes.
Is that what we are? That is not what I am. I am a salesman, but I am not a shark. How about you? Please pay close attention right now. If you have anything to do with selling anything (and that includes you), you are half way home once you realize that the deck is stacked against you. Then, all you have to do is become the exception.
How? Here’s how:
- By listening.
- By not interrupting.
- By asking intelligent questions and sincerely taking note of the answer.
- By getting away from “you” and shifting your attention toward “them.”
- By speaking more softly and more slowly.
- By showing your sense of humor:
- By understanding that people buy when and only when they are ready to buy.
- By understanding that the lifetime of a client is far more lucrative than a single, one-shot purchase.
- By doing what you say you will do.
- By always doing what you say you will do.
- By being honest.
Notice that the above recommendations did not mention anything about a large fish with fins. I say salesperson…you say shark. Go figure!
Mike Marchev has plenty of stories, strategies and tactics to keep you on top of your game.
For information on Mike’s 6-Week Online Selling Course, email Mike at firstname.lastname@example.org with the words “sales course” in the subject box.
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