March 6, 2014

Sales is in my blood.

If you believe there is a perfect job for everyone out there, mine would be sales. I have been doing it longer than I care to admit, and I like to think I am not bad at it.

It’s strange, though, when the tables are turned on you and another salesperson is selling you on something that you want to buy. I know all the tricks in the book, so I know what to expect. At times I can sympathize with them; I understand how hard it is to do sales.

One experience that everyone can usually agree on that people don’t like is buying a new car. I recently was in the market for a new car and decided to go with a completely different make and model. The first couple of cars I went to check out had very pushy salespeople. They wanted me to pretty much sign before I got to check out the car. It was so stereotypical of how car sales happen, that is was humorous.

I continued to do my own research, trying to find the best car that would fit my lifestyle. When I would find some that I liked, I would go see them in person and see how I felt about them. One day, I went to my local Subaru dealership not expecting to buy anything, when a sales man walked up to me. I expected the same routine and pressure to sign a car as quickly as possible so he can get paid.

Instead, he asked what I am looking for in a car. He wanted to know what my habits were, what was important to me, what I thought I wanted, what I thought I needed. Instead of just trying to fit me to a certain car, he tried to fit the car to me. We talked, we joked around, he acted like an old friend who cared about what I wanted and what was important to me.

I really didn’t expect to buy a car that day, but I knew I wanted him to get my commission. After he explained everything to me, I firmly believed after he explained everything well to me and I felt comfortable with my purchase.

Now, to be fair, his job is the same as everyone else’s; he just has a different approach. It’s something that I like to pride myself on with sales.

Are there times I can be a little pushy? Of course. Are there times where I am an aggressive sales person, absolutely. But I like to think I am never really that pushy car salesperson.

So why do I bring this up? Because I know I personally have to remind myself not to be that pushy salesperson. I need to make sure I am listening to the customer and their needs and not trying to just get another sale. It’s something that I think all sales people, in and out of the pet industry, need to remember

I have to talk to my own sales staff and make sure they are not being that pushy car salesperson; it’s something that retailers have to do on a constant basis. It’s just one more thing to add to the list of things you have to do.

Being at Global is amazing for a salesperson. There are so many possible and current clients to talk to, all under one roof. It’s a great time to remember to take your time with each person, to find out what each person wants and needs. I always like to think of Global as a time to remind ourselves — and our staff — to not be that pushy salesperson, to not just go for the sale, but to provide customer service to the best of our abilities.

If I were to leave you with any advice, and the same advice I give my own sales people: In the end, selling is all about being empathetic toward the customer.

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