When I was younger, I had a job in retail. There were three of us working in the store, and one of the other girls was an absolute gun. Every shift she would sell twice the volume of everyone else. She was on fire!
You might think the other sales girl and I would want to mimic her sales style to improve our results, but that wasn't the case. For me, her behaviour was the epitome of everything cringe-worthy about sales.
She was bubbly and outgoing, but rather than using this to make customers feel welcome, and at ease, she would launch herself at people the minute they walked in the shop.
If I had to sum her sales style up in one word, it would be pushy.
Rather than listen, she talked over the top of her potential customers. She'd manoeuvre them into the change room with haste and throw items over the door with an insistence that they "try this" or "try that". She was effusive in her praise for how fabulous the clothes looked on the customers.
The customers would walk out with BAGS of things, and this girl would be so proud of herself and her success!
Unfortunately, within days many of these 'happy' customers came back for a refund. When people purchase because they feel pressured - rather than out of a desire to own the item - they often experience buyer's remorse once they have the time and space to think it through.
My co-worker loved her job and, measured by the volume of her sales, she was good at it. I always wondered though whether the resentment she caused through her pushy sales tactics did more damage to the business over the long-term.
Over the years, I've found that understanding how I don't want to show up in the world is just as valuable to me as the knowledge of how I do. I've hung on to this lesson from my retail days in my network marketing business.
In every interaction I have with a potential customer, my goal is to listen and serve. If someone wants to work with me, I'm not going to push them, convince them or drag them, they have to come to me.
My customers come to me because of the relationship I've built with them. They know I have their best interests at heart, even if that means no sale. Unless my solution is a good fit for their problem, we don't do business.
It has to be about them, and only them. Always.
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