What is the right sales attitude? It depends on the situation, but let take a practical example; Buying shoes – I never understood the shopping experience.
For me, it’s just a practical thing that I need to do – It’s personal and of course different for everybody.
Sales Attitude is a choice:
Imagine you just bought a suit, and you need shoes that match the suit. You can’t find shoes in the same store, so you ask for a referral. The shoe salesman says, “If you go left at the next corner, you will find an excellent store, with the best brands.” Two minutes later, you enter this particular store, and you are ready for action (not really).
The shoe salesperson sees you. He or she smiles and asks, “Can I help you?” “No, I am just looking, thanks.” “Ok, let me know if you need anything.”
You don’t consider yourself to be a shoe specialist, and the shoe salesperson can see this. It’s the way you look and behave in general. So, you look around with some fear in your eyes and think, “How am I going to do this?” Let’s say you are not a professional “purchaser” like me; you just need good shoes because of your profession. What kind of attitude is appreciative?
1 – A consultative approach – listen, understands and levels with you. Social selling is the core behavior.
2 – Authority approach – Somebody who is pitching and needs a certain attitude to make things happen.
Nice to meet me
My preference in this case? Easy one. I prefer the salesperson who use a consultative approach. I appreciate the authoritative approach only if I am knowledgeable as well. Why? When I have some knowledge, I don’t feel intimidated, and this gives me a minimal threshold to feel safe. Only then can I actually enjoy the slight tension between the salesperson and myself.
But.. Most of the time, I have the feeling that salespeople in “exclusive” stores prefer to demonstrate their power instead of empathizing. Recognize this feeling? They leave you sometimes with the impression that you have to be grateful that you can buy their stuff.
You shake his or her hand, and then the person says, “Nice to meet me” instead of “Nice to meet you”.
Local star power
By the way, this is not about shoes, but about sales. So, let’s focus for a second, please 🙂 What I’ve described above is the situational authority of a shoe salesperson. In sales, it is important to show “local star” power, but it needs to serve a purpose. The purpose, in this case, is to sell shoes and make sure the customer wants to come back.
When you have a 20-minute sales pitch for a million-dollar deal, you don’t have to be benevolent. You show attitude and confidence, and this is what the audience expects from you. In a shoe store, I just want to feel comfortable. By the way. The best book on sales attitude; Pitch Anything by Oren Klaff.