In a sales meeting not long ago and not so far away, the sales manager was standing up in the front of the conference room jotting information on the chalk board. It was getting ugly fast. Things had not been going very well as it approached the end of the month. With about 15 salespeople sitting in the room, the collective mood was tense. It was the biggest sales day of the week. In typical fashion, he laid into everyone about being unproductive, lazy, unfocused, and indifferent to making “the monthly numbers” by the next week.
One of the top salespeople sitting at the end of the front row whispered to the salesman next to him, “Why does Tommy always stress us out on our biggest days. Man, what we need to survive here is a heavy dose of thick skin, sense of humor and short-term memory.”
“Bill, stand up!” shouted Tommy in the loudest voice the sales team had heard that week. “What did you say?” Of course, Bill told it again like it was. “You are fired!” echoed across the room.
As Bill gathered his stuff off of the table, others started to tell told Tommy that Bill was right. Being stressed out at the beginning of a huge sales day was not conducive to productivity. Tommy, who could not fire everyone without risking his own job, had a quick change of thought and he slowly calmed down.
In fact, the next week, it was Bill in front of the team. Bill received a promotion. This time the focus was on teamwork, selling with honesty and customer service. You can guess what happened to Tommy.
You do need these three ingredients of retail selling every day.
- Thick Skin: Rejection is never fun. Remember it is never personal when the customer does not buy anything.
- Sense of Humor: Smiles and laughter are key variables in any relationship. Have fun when you sell. It is contagious.
- Short Term Memory: When things do not go well, forget about it. There is always a new day!
Dale Carnegie’s focus on engagement is just as critical for sales teams as it is for the customers. On the tough days, remember how Bill does it.
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