Steven Covey recently died of complications from an injury suffered in a bicycle accident. He's most famous for his bestseller, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Here are 7 entirely different habits that are characteristic habits of the very best retail appliance sales people that I've come into contact with over the past 30 plus years:
- They listen to their customers. We were blessed with two ears and one mouth so we could spend twice as much time listening as we do talking. Successful appliance salespeople are those who are able to satisfy customer wants and needs. The only way a sales person can know what those wants and needs are is if she listens to her customer.
- They ask questions. A corollary to listening to the customer is asking questions. Customers don't know what they don't know. If a salesperson is going to guide her customer to a good decision, the only way to do this is to ask good questions.
- They tell stories. At it's core, selling is storytelling. Customers need to be able to visualize themselves owning and using these appliances. Salespeople help them visualize by painting a verbal picture with their stories.
- They demonstrate. Average salespeople present a product. Highly effective salespeople demonstrate a product. That doesn't mean a salesperson has to cook lobster thermador in the new professional range in order to sell it, but it does mean that she needs to pull off a heavy duty porcelain on steel grate and put it in the customer's hand so that he knows he is getting a commercial-quality product.
- They plan and they follow-up. Highly effective appliance salespeople have a plan. They don't just sit around waiting for customers to show up. They also follow-up with each prospective and existing customer.
- They practice at their craft. Abraham Lincoln once said that if he were given 8 hours to cut down a tree he'd spend 7 hours sharpening the axe and 1 hour chopping at the tree. The best salespeople work hard at honing their skills. Average salespeople think this means developing superior product knowledge. Highly effective salespeople focus on key features and benefits only. Then they hone their selling skills by practicing basic product feature and benefit selling that leads customers to the best solutions for their product needs.
- They both hunt and farm. Selling appliances in today's tough environment is not for the weak at heart. Top performers go after the business. They may work industry gatherings, events, shows, etc. They may prospect with phone calls, referrals, and emails. They don't sit around and wait. When they do get calls or store visits they always follow-up.
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