When you think of personal selling, you think of pushy, unrelenting salesman. The types who are hot on their feet as soon as you enter their store, making sure that they vacantly tell you how great you look and how much their £2000 designer bag would suit you. The types that make it so painfully obvious that they’re only saying those nice things because they are on a commission-based contract.
If you want to avoid the negative stereotypes associated with being a salesperson, then you have to be cleverer with the way you present yourself, you almost have to deliver a pitch without it sounding like a pitch. The infamous Joe Girard was a master at this.
Girard was a car salesman for Chevrolet in America and is said to be ‘The World’s Greatest Salesperson’. He single-handedly sold over 13,000 vehicles during his time at Chevrolet, that’s an average of 6 cars every day! Not only this, but Girard alone had sold more cars than 95% of all car dealerships in North America at that time…an incredible accomplishment, but how did he do it?
What made Girard so successful was that he clearly stood above the rest when it came to customer relationship management. Within a few weeks of selling a car to someone he would be in touch with them asking if they had any problems with the vehicle, he would then go on and fix any issues, and finally ask, the now satisfied customer, for a referral.
He also kept a document with each of his clients’ personal information in, that isn’t boring stuff like bank details, but more like facts that they had told him in conversation; their children’s names, what they like doing in their spare time, birthdays etc. and he would use this information to really personalise their conversations and make the customer feel special.
He made a point to send all of his customers a monthly greetings card with just a simple little message in it, he didn’t include anything that would sound like a sales pitch, he’d usually just write an anecdote, a tip he knew the customer would be interested in, a book review or a birthday greeting, informal things of that nature. He knew that his customers would need new cars at some point so he made sure to keep himself at the forefront of their minds. This eventually became so big of a task that he had to hire someone to write the cards for him!
So, to take a leaf out the ‘world’s greatest salesman’s’ book, if you want to be a successful personal seller, always follow-up on your sale. Go the extra mile for your customer and make them feel special…the additional effort doesn’t go unnoticed.