More than 10 years ago I stopped making New Year’s resolutions. The reason being is I finally understood that what we know we should be doing and what we can continually gain permanent control over are two different things.
For example, the Top 3 resolutions—loosing weight, exercising more and being a nicer person—are things we all should be doing all the time. And they are all things we all have done for short spurts of our lives.
On a personal note I’ve beaten two of those three top resolutions: The weight loss and the being a nicer person. Those two I figured out I’m consistent with because of my nature. The weight part I control because I hate to see the obese society that America has become. That, plus I’m just vain enough to care about my looks and health. Next, I believe I’m a nice person because of the way I was raised and being a sales advisor I pretty much have to be.
But the exercise part I just can’t train my mind to consistently do. So that one I can’t seem to make a habit. Fortunately, I have a home on a half acre well manicured lot. The yard work alone gives me about 15 hours a week in non-winter months. Come winter, I do have a larger challenge and I pray for snow just for the shoveling exercise.
Here’s one non-flooring tip for maintaining weight loss: Weigh yourself every morning when you get up. If you don’t agree with me just make it a habit for a month. What you’ll see is that this new habit will remind you every day not to overindulge. Well enough about me and about non-flooring issues.
Back To Old Habits
A long time ago, when I started writing my first training manual, I realized parts of my book were often about things I knew I should be doing but didn’t do as a habit. It was the “do as I say” not the “do what I do” method.
My justification was that a training manual should offer all the right knowledge and honest selling methods for someone to learn them correctly. And, that my shortcomings should not give my readers an excuse to also do it wrong. In fact, in any positive education we learn, we eventually pick and choose what works for us. In my case, I chose not to exercise but decided to change my eating habits to balance out that weakness.
The funny thing for me is, even with all the positive work and selling habits I have I have found that during certain streaks of time I find myself skipping them. But fortunately I have this beginning of the year issue to get me back on track. While normally I have no new resolutions to fail at, I understand that I simply have to go back to implementing the good old habits that keep me successful.
So here’s my good old habit that I often fall away from during each year: Always relax and educate.
Being an educator you’d think this one would never get by me. But I do find it happening. For example, a new customer comes in and says, “I need carpet,” and I start showing samples out of the gate. Then my now non-buyer says the biggest sales killer in history: “Thanks we’ll be back.”
When I here that term I pull out my stupid gun out and shoot myself because I’ve given them no reason to think I’m more informative and helpful than the rest of the sales clerks out there.
Don’t Talk Sales
My normal winning method is to take new buyers and warm up to them. Show them that I’m a real person by talking about anything but sales.
For example, with families, it is usually something like me looking at the little girl and saying, “Is your favorite color pink or purple?” Amazingly her answer is always one of those colors. That leads to a few fun stories by the parents and a short story from me about how somehow the young boys of today seem to like the non-color black.
The other opener I enjoy starting a conversation with is when two or three ladies come in together. That opener starts with, “Which one of you is the president of the design committee? Every time the ladies admit who that is and they tell me a few fun openers.
Others things that I call painfully obvious “openers” are people who pull up in either vintage or beautiful cars or trucks. If you miss asking to see that car first, I’ll give you my stupid gun.
Another painfully obvious opener is mentioning work uniforms or logo shirts. It’s just too easy to get someone to relax when you ask, “Are you a nurse at the local hospital here” or “ You’re brave to wear that Raiders jersey in Bronco territory.” In either case you are getting them to start out with a person-to-person conversation. Which again makes you a person first, not a sales vulture.
By getting to be human first you can now avoid the dumbest opening four words in sales history: “May I help you?” This question always brings the brilliant answer, “No I’m just looking.”
Instead you’re now able to comfortably interview your new customers/friends. Start out with, “Tell me what you are trying to achieve?” You can’t get a yes or no answer to that question.
Then it’s time to educate them on the products that fit their situation. You now don’t first run them to the cheap bait-and-switch sale item or to the highest priced item in the store. You educate them on the best product for their lifestyle. And they buy it from you, their new educator and Trusted Sales Advisor.
So if you have to have a resolution this year, resolve yourself to making new good selling habits. And, big surprise here, you can find hundreds of great ethical selling habits when you buy my books. Thanks for reading.