I can remember, not long ago, when I hated to read books. (Thirty years ago.) Today, I love my books.
Most people today regardless of their age still don’t like to read books. And if they do, they are works of fiction and are read for entertainment.
I like to read business books. They make me think. They also take the time that I might otherwise squander on less productive activities.
One Friday evening, I grabbed a book I had read years ago and began rereading the underlined passages. (I can’t read a book without underlining meaningful sentences and circling paragraphs while making notations inside the book jacket and utterly destroying the pristine look.) It is my belief that most people read books to finish the book. That is their goal. To keep turning the pages until done. Not me. I read very slowly and methodically. Hence the underlines, folded corners and memos in the inside jacket.
Cool your jets. I’m getting to the point.
The Nordstrom Way was the book’s title, and a passage on page 8 is responsible for today’s missive:
“Then he gave McCarthy some of the most important advice a sales associate can get, advice McCarthy has carried with him ever since; advice that today he gives to new employees: ‘Relax. Stop worrying about making sales.’ Easier said than done, thought McCarthy, in a hotly competitive Nordstrom arena of commission sales. When you stop worrying about money and concentrate on serving the customer, the money will follow.”
Similar advice comes from one of the friendliest countries I know of: Australia. Where they remind us time and time again, “No worries.” This is another way of saying “Stop trying to sell so hard and start lightening up.”
So there you have it. A message worth taking to heart, but a message that I fear will fall on the deaf ears of many of my readers.
Get ready and “stop trying to sell.” This works for Nordstrom and it will work for you, but only if you start focusing on your customer’s well-being.
Mike Marchev is a down-to-earth motivating sales trainer, author and business coach who specializes in the travel industry. Mike’s column is made possible by AmaWaterways.