September 26, 2017

My Adventure from Mom to Saleswoman

Liz After a Sales Call 300x225 My Adventure from Mom to Saleswoman

Liz After a Sales Call

Let me introduce myself.  I am many things, wife, mother, sister and friend.  In my early work life, I started out in retail sales.  However, I placed my selling career on hold to raise our three children.  For the past 20 years, I have helped my husband (John at GoSellGo™) attend to his sales rep business.  I do many of the behind the scenes tasks that allow him to do the selling.  I have been his grunt labor as well as his biggest supporter.  As our children have grown older, we have decided to test my skills at selling.  How hard can it be . . . right?

Preconceived Notions

I used  to think a good salesperson was defined as someone having a desirable well-priced product, and giving timely and efficient service.  However, my mentor, boss and husband kept reminding me over and over that, “Sales is all about building the relationship.”  I listened, but maybe did not hear what he meant.

Over the years, I have had the opportunity to meet many of his customers while doing the menial tasks necessary for sales representatives to keep their clients happy.  Depending on the task, I would be quick and friendly, but often felt that I should not interfere with their day.  I would return home to John’s questions about my interactions and very rarely had anything to report because I had not taken the time to engage with the customer.

Steep Learning Curve

For the past couple of years, I have had the opportunity to share a line with my husband.  The process of transitioning from mom to saleswoman has been slow and the learning curve steep.

I have sold some things and have earned a few commissions.  As I reflect, I realize that a lot of my successes were not when I tried to sell, but when I made it easy for the customer to buy.  I have the “desirable well priced product” and great “customer service” from the manufacturer, so by my old definition of a salesperson I have arrived.

For motivation and sales training, I have read, listened and watched many different experts talk about selling tips. Considering the hard economic times that we have endured, I have also spent much of my time reading positive attitude messages.  It is all good and I am learning, but need more to keep improving.

Selling is an Art

Recently, I had the opportunity to join John in a sales demonstration as well as shadow him for a day “touching base” with customers.  Early in my sales career, I also had a similar opportunity, and was much more critical of his style.  I still thought it was not desirable to “bother” people.

Now, with many sales calls under my belt I have a much greater appreciation of the art of selling.  Maybe I am finally hearing what John has been saying all along.  It is all about the relationship.  It is lingering and letting people settle into what they are hearing.  It is not necessary or desirable to share every bit of detail about your products.  It is about listening.  It is about allowing the pregnant pause and not filling the void with idle chatter.

While it all seems so elementary, the key to selling seems to be forging a relationship with the customer.  I guess, as I slowly morph into a true salesperson, I will figure out what it all entails.  How hard can it be . . . right?

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