Meet two of the worlds best sales people on record.
Some companies assume their social media platforms and website are enough to lure in new business. Often forgotten are the very basics of a human experience in the Business-to-Consumer world. What's missing? The core sales skills used by great sales people, that worked when there was no internet!
As a sales person, working harder doesn’t necessarily mean more sales, but working smarter does. It’s been proven decade upon decade by the world’s most renowned sales people. Two legends in the field would be David Ogilvy of Ogilvy and Mather, the “King of Advertising”, and Joe Girard who featured in the Guinness book of Records. Joe's skills saw him sell more vehicles than any other person on the planet, a record that remains to this day.
The internet didn’t exist when these men began their sales careers. However they still managed to sell more than anyone has been able to, to this day!
David Ogilvy’s successful sales theory was to use thoughtfulness and empathy, and to focus on the art of conversation with new customers. David's line “if you can’t make a lady laugh, you can’t make her buy” is key in understanding the science behind his tactics to get a sale across the line.
His personal, respectful approach to selling was to get to know his customers and to build a trust-based relationship with them. This trust was built on the initial judgement between the customer and the sales-person. The very first point of contact between them both. What is the sales person wearing? Are they approachable? Do they greet the customer well?
One of his most famous lines is “ avoid standardisation in your sales talk. If you find yourself one fine day saying the same thing to a bishop and then to a trapezist, you are done for”.
Joe Girard’s tactics were similar. He valued his customers above and beyond just the sale. First of all he would take all of his client's personal contact details down. Then, he would consistently post them greeting cards for every celebrated annual day from Halloween to Valentines Day each year. He had to hire 2 people full-time to package and post the cards, the list got so long (up to 13,000 a month!). He honoured their birthdays, anniversaries and more. This created a loyal and trusting database of customers who considered him part of the family and would refer friends and family to him. His success was directly out of appreciation from his clients for his consideration and efforts.
Going above and beyond for your customers is what is going to pull return-business and referrals from them. In this day and age, you simply can’t rely solely on the internet. While your online presence will bring attention to your brand, it certainly won’t always convert a sale. That’s a human-to-human transaction. Your sales people only get one shot at gaining new first-time customers, so they need to have their game-faces on!