Posted by Matt Nern on Tue, Sep 18, 2012 @ 10:00 AM
Matt Nern leads a sales team in Dallas, Texas. Matt relies on years of experience as a sales leader in the payment processing and automotive industries when he's training new reps to sell check guarantee. He's an expert motivator and sales coach, but he's always on the lookout for new sales tips. Here's a story from Matt with some valuable advice for sales professionals.
A co-worker recently asked me to name some of my favorite sales people and sales motivators. One name immediately came to mind, Billy Grubb. Billy Grubb may have been one of the greatest salespeople to walk the planet. This dude was charismatic, had a great smile, knew his stuff and...was ten years old! I met Billy ten years ago living in Northern California. Billy was "the neighborhood kid," the one who seemed to own Wright Street outright. The kid was always managing a lemonade stand, cutting a lawn, chasing his friends or chatting up any adult who would listen.
I lived in an World War II era home at the time, the type of house with a great big living room window. It was my window to the world of Wright Street. I could see everything. One particular summer evening I could see Billy making his way up the street with what looked like a pail of sand. He made a dash towards my next door neighbor’s driveway and I thought nothing more of it. Ten minutes later the little kid was sauntering up my walkway. There was no time to duck and hide, he had made eye contact with me.
The doorbell rang. My mind raced with an excuse to keep the conversation short and sweet. The kid was a talker almost to a fault. Nice kid, but he had no problem describing in detail an entire episode of Scooby Doo if given the stage. So there he was in all his glory, hair combed, shirt tucked in and a small bucket in hand. "Hey Mr. Nern, do you prefer left over spaghetti or chicken soup?" Billy said with a wide-grinned smile.
Confused and not sure what the kid was up to, I half-heartedly said, "Yes, leftover spaghetti is a real crowd pleaser, Billy. Now what I can do for you?"
"Well, great, Mr. Nern, because this container I have in my hand is absolutely perfect for leftover spaghetti. It's heavy duty with a secure lid and will keep the flavor and freshness stored in. It even has this handle to carry it to work. And as an extra bonus this container is filled with three pounds of cookie dough for you! How many would you like to buy?'
Sweet mother of the sales gods, I thought to myself. I was awe struck at his presentation. This was the stuff of legend. The stuff I’ve spent my entire professional career teaching to sales rookies and lifelong professionals. The lad had a gleam in his eye, passion for his product and lured me into the conversation with an off-balance open ended question. It was text book.
No kidding, I bought 15 pounds of cookie dough and I’m not even a fan of cookies. I told the kid I was very impressed with his presentation and frankly had never purchased cookie dough from any other kid in the past. Billy told me that this was a school promotion and every kid in Santa Rosa was going to be hawking cookie dough for a chance to win a bicycle. He said at first he was simply telling folks he was selling cookie dough for a fund raiser and no one was buying. So he changed his presentation and rather than telling people what he was doing he asked questions and gave them something more than just frozen cookie dough to buy.
So the lesson of the story is this...if you are leading in with saving your client a buck or two or worse yet telling them what you are doing without either having something of substance, or an idea of your client’s needs, you are short changing yourself and wasting your client's time. If you really think about it, this is common sense. How do you like to be sold? You know the answer but, all too often, sales rookies and professionals alike revert to "telling selling" rather than "engaging selling."
Billy did win the bicycle and continued to make his sales presence known throughout the neighborhood. Shortly after the cookie dough episode I hired him to cut my lawn for $10.00 a week. A few weeks later I was a little perplexed to see his younger brother, Kevin, cutting my front lawn early one Saturday morning. Billy was hanging out in my driveway or as he termed it "managing." Billy told me his lawn cutting business was expanding and he subcontracted the work to his little brother for $5.00 per week. "Subcontracting," really? Ten years old!
I think of Billy when I explain that I sell peace of mind to my merchants. Some may think that check guarantee services provide protection from bad checks, and they do, but more than that, they mean less worry and fewer headaches. And that's almost as good a two-in-one leftover container! For your own peace of mind, sign up today for a no-obligation, free consultation.