We can learn so much about selling from our day-to-day lives. Take waiters and waitresses at restaurants for example. We can experience quite a range of services:
Simply not well trained. This is the person who has not been trained or mentored well. He/she has no sense of timing, does not check in and often simply disappears for long periods of time, etc. People who are sent into the “field” without good training can lose customers, and the restaurant owner (or us as business owners) may never know what happened.
Probably had some training but is rough around the edges. This is the waiter or waitress who butts into conversations and does not listen well. He is checking in and doing what he has been told to do, but with a lack of maturity or grace. He has been trained, but not mentored by a real pro, a big difference.
Is well-trained but creates stress rather than relaxing the clients. This is the waiter who has decided to put on a show, taking much too long to explain the specials, throwing in some dramatic flair that diminishes, rather than adds to the experience, etc. We just want to get on with the order but this waiter is self-absorbed and is determined to cover everything he has memorized while not noticing we are desperately signaling him that we know what we want and just wish to order. We often see this in sales . . . a salesperson caught up in himself and not listening well nor picking up the all-important nonverbal signals in the meeting.
Finally, we get the pro. Relaxed. Confident. He sizes up the situation and seems to intuitively know if we want to move more or less quickly. Asks, not demands, if we would like to hear the specials. Keeps an eye on us and when he does approach, waits for eye contact to talk rather than just butting into a conversation. He is well-trained, well-mentored and client centric.
As salespeople and sales managers, it is great fun and often highly informative to experience the way people communicate, interact and “sell” all around us, every day. If we stay alert, we can pick up all sorts of useful information and techniques on both the positive, and negative, sides of the coin.
New Book Released Today!
Our good friend and great sales expert, Jeb Blount, is releasing a new book today, “Fanatical Prospecting!” We don’t recommend books often but Jeb is special and his take on prospecting is well-matched with the quickly changing world of communications and sales.
We will all be well-served to check it out.