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Lessons learned: In selling, credibility means everything

January 7/14, 2019: Volume 34, Issue 16

By Tom Jennings

 

One of the greatest attributes any salesperson can possess is the ability to be believable—regardless of what they are selling. But this is even more critical in our field.

Generally speaking, the public does not stay abreast of changes in the flooring industry. The frequency of the purchase cycle is too long to hold most people’s attention.

Simply stated: If the customer doesn’t have complete confidence that she can make a correct decision on her own, she needs assurance that you, the professional RSA, possess the competency to guide her into making such a decision.

Many of you are likely thinking, “That’s what they pay me to do.” The only problem is she will never be able to believe what you say and show unless you believe it as well.

If you don’t believe this to be true, I challenge you to spend one week observing both the body language and verbal comments of every service provider you come in contact with when you are the customer. Take note of your reactions to each presentation made to you.

For example, when you are in a restaurant, make a special effort to ask questions regarding the food and the chef’s capabilities alike. Ask the waitress if the cook is particularly good at making omelets, then observe the response. My guess is for every bright-eyed “he’s the best” reaction you get, you’ll receive a dozen that are something to the effect of “he’s not too bad” or “no one seems to complain.” How inspiring. It makes you want to order two, doesn’t it?

Ask if the cake is fresh. Do you get a “made fresh in our bakery this morning” response, or an “I checked it this morning, it still looks OK” answer. What was the body language saying when you received each response? It is almost impossible to give an enthusiastic response when you are not enthusiastic about the answer that you are giving.

Do you think a waiter’s or waitress’ tip income will be affected by the enthusiasm and believability which they exhibit? Of course it will. Aren’t tips just the waiter’s equivalent to a retail sales commission? Based on that logic, would it not be reasonable to assume the level of believability you exhibit is affecting your income as well?

To succeed at the highest level possible, you must believe in your company. Tell the customer why you choose to be on this team. You must believe in your products—whatever you are selling. Explain to the customer the ways she will benefit by selecting them. Likewise, you must believe in your service. Show the customer how great craftsmanship can turn a box of tile into a beautiful kitchen floor—just as it is that a great cook can turn a bag of flour into beautiful biscuits. Good products alone are never enough.

More importantly, you must believe in yourself. Tell the customer you have the confidence and ability to make the purchasing experience a pleasant one.

When you believe deeply that you, your fellow staff members and your products are a winning combination, your message will be so enthusiastically presented to your customers that they, too, will buy into your passion. When this occurs, sales are sure to follow.

It’s like the old adage, “It’s not usually what we say but rather how we say it.” It’s true. Believe me.