Every day I would walk the two miles along the beachfront Malacan, the home of time share and tequila vendors alike. Truly those sidewalks came alive with the words of every sales pitch heard by man and womankind.
I listened to them each day, especially the days that their big catch – the cruise ships – would roll in with the tide. As I listened to them bark “almost free” to every passerby, I wondered if “sales” is a universal concept or if sales techniques work better in some places than others.
My least favorite but most memorable sales pitch came from a Huichol art salesman/timeshare hawker.
Sometimes people accuse me of embellishing a story in order to make a point. Many times and in particular this time, I do not need to embellish. Sometimes people ask me where I get the material I write about. This time I could not have made this up, no one would believe me.
The sales pitch for this particular vendor was that he made $100 for each person he brought to the timeshare presentation. It was his daughter’s birthday and he wanted to buy her a nice gift. Therefore some poor soul should attend in order to fund this occasion.
It was a terrible way to sell. Why should anyone help him achieve his goal when we are not helped in achieving any of our goals?
I don’t know if he was serious or not.
The lesson here for me was to remind me that people don’t buy from me because it helps me.
They buy when it helps them.
A client, patient, guest, or member is by any name still a customer. Customers must be sold and re-sold over and over and over again. And they buy when it helps them and not the seller.
STOP – before you utter the words “I’m not a salesperson,” think again. In my world everyone is a salesperson. The best at anything can’t do their job without a person literally or figuratively in the chair. An attorney, cardiologist, CPA, or tech genius needs someone to hire them or use them in order for them to ply their trade. To a politician, a vote is what they sell and hope you buy. In my world everyone is a salesperson.
This trip to Puerto Vallarta yielded many lessons in selling.
After many years of lobbying, the Malacan was closed to cars and instead of being a boom for business it was a bust. Be careful of what you wish for in life and in business.
After 16 years the Golden Arches made a purchase necessary before using their restroom facility. The arches were always welcoming to walkers, runners, skateboarders and surfers. Now they look like the ugly American even to Americans.
And that painting that was for sale 6 years ago is still hanging there for sale. Sometimes you just have to cut your losses.
But the sales scenario that will help me most was the time share guy promoting his daughter’s birthday as a reason to take 3 hours of beach time and listen to a “spiel.” We all could benefit from the reminder that sales needs to be about ‘them” and not about “us.”
Read more posts by Leslie Ungar here. Leslie blogs for JenningsWire.
The online feature magazine, JenningsWire.com, is created by National PR Firm, Annie Jennings PR that specializes in providing book promotion services to self-published and traditionally published authors. Annie Jennings PR books authors, speakers and experts on major high impact radio talk interview shows, on local, regionally syndicated and national TV shows and on influential online media outlets and in prestigious print magazines and newspapers across the country.