by Ryan Taft
Recently, my wife and I enjoyed a fantastic vacation to the Dominican Republic. The water was the bluest I have ever seen and the people there were off the charts amazing. Overall, it was a dream vacation. The only downside of our trip was the buffet. Not the one we enjoyed, the one we became!
My wife and I became the house specialty amongst the mosquito population on the island and, in short order, we had upwards of 150 bites between the two of us!
We tried three different repellents, all to no avail. We became so paranoid about getting attacked that one night, there in our tropical paradise, we went to dinner dressed like eskimos. Ya do what you have to do.
However, we found another type of mosquito in Punta Cana: the overly aggressive and annoying sales person. Everywhere we turned, someone tried to jam a product or service down our throats. Shoddy jewelry, knock off Michael Kors hand bags, an expensive excursion, the list went on and on.
Melissa and I had the same reaction to this sales nuisance as we did to the actual mosquitoes…we ran from them! Don’t get me wrong, we bought plenty of garbage (I mean gifts) and we did make some purchases from one particular sales person who was not a nuisance. His name was Cesar and he knew how to win a sale.
Here are the three things Cesar did to capture our attention and keep us from running away.
1. Be Coffee Worthy
Every sales mosquito started off by selling and selling hard. No warm greeting. No relationship building. The feature dumping that came at us was akin to getting bit
by a real mosquito: sudden, startling and off-putting.
Cesar spent time getting to know us. He took an interest in who we are. He appeared to have more of an interest in us than in getting the sale. He was what we call coffee worthy. In other words, we liked him and wanted to talk with him. (We actually did sit down and have a cup of coffee with him!)
2. Discover Your Customer’s Mission
The sales mosquitoes tried to sell to us immediately and impersonally. To me: “Buy this rum! It is the best on the island. I make you good price!” To my wife: “This necklace will make you look beautiful!” I do not drink and my wife does not wear jewelry. The fact that the sales mosquitoes did not attempt (even a little) to discover anything about us made their sales pleas even more off-putting. They focused entirely on their mission, not ours.
Cesar cared about what would make our trip amazing. He wanted to know what our goals were for our vacation. His presentation was all about us, not him or his product. He discovered our mission and then shared what he had to offer that would fulfill it.
3. Get to a Deeper Level of Understanding.
Cesar asked us what would make our vacation memorable, if we had been on any excursions before and what we liked and disliked about our past experiences. He knew that if he understood our past and potential pains and our desired pleasures, he could better fit his offerings to what we wanted and avoid trying to sell us what we did not want. And, that is exactly what he did! We purchased a couple amazing excursions from Cesar which dramatically enriched our vacation experience.
Because of our genuine and positive experience with both Cesar and his product, Cesar is now a friend. We have exchanged email addresses and my wife plans to send his two kids some gifts from the States.
No matter where you work or what you sell, the worst thing you can do is become a nuisance to your customers. Take the time to personalize your presentation to your customer and you will be well on your way to changing their world.