So, how will you sell the comb at a railway station?
This is the question I asked from the new recruit into my team 2 years ago. I got this pick from Jeff Git’s newsletter and reminded me of what I was thinking when I bought that comb from the vendor.
Last week I was in Panjim, India, a small town about 300 miles south of Mumbai. The population is around 90,000, and like other towns in India I’ve visited, you get a keen sense that everyone is hard at work. I was traveling with my old high school buddy, Patrick, who is spending four months touring India. Patrick and I made this same trip together 30 years ago, so I thought I would visit him for a week to revisit the scene of our youthful adventures.
While out for a walk, we stopped to sit in the town square, and were approached by two young men who appeared to be about 14 years old. Like many street vendors, they were trying to sell their wares to anyone they thought would buy, and in India (like countries the world over), tourists (who have money) are always hot prospects.
We gave them every objection and, though we weren’t hostile, we were as cold as cold gets in a selling scenario. They had product we didn’t want or need. One was selling belts, the other a traveling miniature chess set.
In 30 years of travel, I’ve encountered every type of street vendor, from the in-your-face aggressive to the laid back ex-hippy who appears disinterested. Although there are many variations, they all have the same goal. They want you to buy. And most have discovered a technique that works best for them.
Here are six ways the young vendors in Panjim worked at their goal:
They made eye contact and immediately smiled. This may sound like Selling 101, but you would be amazed how many people who sell for a living forget this important icebreaker. A smile conveys openness. Before I knew it, Patrick and I had both smiled back.
They introduced themselves in a friendly manner. They asked for our names. Then they repeated them to make sure they were pronouncing them correctly.
They put their products in our hands. They asked us to look at the quality and craftsmanship.
Their product knowledge was complete. There was no question we asked that went unanswered or was hesitated upon.
They told us the price. Then they started to negotiate on the price.
They never gave up on the sale. Even when Patrick and I sat with our arms crossed, repeatedly saying, “Not interested,” they kept a positive, friendly manner about themselves.
It’s a great shame the young street vendors in Panjim didn’t attend the sales master class I attended there last week. Their behavior reminded me of the characteristics of a sales star that were mentioned in the first talk I ever heard Jeffrey Gitomer give — and with a bit of guidance and inspiration, they could be reaching their goal of making the sale more often.
I consider myself an expert on being a customer, and the young vendors in Panjim treated me like a long lost friend, and made me feel respected and valued which, at the end of the day, is what all customers want.
In case you were wondering, I didn’t buy anything. Patrick, however, got himself a very nice miniature traveling chess set.
Robin Sieger, from Scotland, now divides his time between between Europe and America. He is a successful businessman, best selling author, and broadcaster with offices in the UK and Charlotte, NC. He is a leading success strategist and has a world-class reputation as a conference speaker who passionately delivers high-impact presentations that are informative, inspiring, and entertaining. Robin’s humor and ability to emotionally connect with audiences has seen him become the first choice speaker at major conferences around the world. For more information visit www.siegerinternational.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Posted by Digvijay "VJ" Singh Rathore