Got Attitude?

Has this ever happened to you?

You’re determined to get the best value for your money and not get talked into buying something you don’t want, but the salesperson has other ideas?

Far too often you run into a sales rep that falls into one of these first two categories:

1. The one who, because of his or her experience or job title think they “know best” about what is right for you.

2. The one with an air of slick confidence who makes you feel like you’re being seduced into buying something you didn’t need or want.

Or, less often, you run into the third kind:

3. Someone whose outlook, approach, sincerity and interest convey the confidence that they’re looking out for your best interests first.

Which one would you rather deal with, even if it were not the lowest price? Which one would you refer your friends to?

Many customers base their purchasing decisions on how they “feel” around the salesperson. How you made them feel is something they never forget. 

All this talk about features, advantages and benefits will fall on deaf ears unless the element of trust is firmly established in the mind of the client. Once you have a positive place in the customers mind, what you’re offering will at least get a fair hearing.

For example, my wife and I walked into a local camera store, the old-school style that looked like it had been there forever – old cameras were stacked everywhere obviously loved by the owner who would likely appreciate anyone with similar interests – a fact that was unfortunately overlooked by the sales clerk of the day.

My wife was carrying an expensive Nikon digital camera, which should have conveyed interest in quality, but the clerk, oblivious to us, engaged in reading something about computer games, didn’t even notice.

A friendly greeting on our part was met with an attitude of mild annoyance and disinterest, apparently because we interrupted the atmosphere of tomb-like, motionless silence in the store.

The clerk’s response to a polite question about the availability of a bulb for an enlarger was to bark a hostile remark that they didn’t have it.

I tried again:

You have a lot of great cameras here, and someone obviously put a lot of time into acquiring them. Do you like cameras?

Her unintelligible grunt was no help. I tried again.

Are you the owner of this place?” No response.

Well, OK. We got the message, as we quickly looked for the door, she considered our presence there as an intrusion.

This twenty-something clerk had an attitude for sure. And it wasn’t friendly.

It wasn’t exactly the best approach to sell anything to anyone, but unfortunately this situation is not uncommon in these days where disinterest and dis-service have become the norm.

It is a natural law of selling that a friendly, positive attitude is the most important quality you can develop as a salesperson. Your attitude either opens doors for you or ensures they will stay shut.

But unfortunately, this is not something you acquire in institutions of higher learning. For some reason, the current educational trend, even at the “best schools,” seems to focus on mastering technical skills and grades, and ignoring people skills.

Graduates from the top business schools in the U.S. tend to focus on business plans, statistical graphs, strategic and tactical programs yet they leave out the most important element in any business: the people. Unhappily, the human element somehow got lost along the way.

A friendly, welcoming attitude, along with honesty and trust, are the most useful principles and values you can develop as a professional salesperson.

Use these to guide you along the path toward building relationships and you will never be sorry, for these are based on the natural laws of human interaction, relationships and selling.

One final tip on your attitudes:

Don’t let the circumstances of life dictate your attitude.

Instead, create your own.

daniel w. jacobs
(c)2007-2030, all rights reserved


One Response to “Got Attitude?”

  1. Daniel,
    You are indeed correct attitude shapes behaviour and all to often if a salesperson is unhappy with any aspect of their lives it becomes evident during their interactions with other people. Poor management, lack of training and being too long doing the job are also contributory factors.
    Dave Quinn

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