Take advantage of every opportunity (large and small)
Today I am excited to start a new series on the proper way to build a large customer base that will be loyal and dedicated to you. Through this series I will share the secrets to my success that have made my selling career fun, easy and effective. Many of you who have followed my articles over the years already know the main ingredients to Modern Day Selling - like serving while selling, selling with passion and energy, creating a show-time experience and impacting the customers life in a meaningful way. However, there is much more to be discovered to see the bigger picture of true success that lasts.
Many sales associates start off their careers with a passion and fire to serve the customer and achieve success in sales. As newbies they greet every single customer with zeal and excitement. It is always refreshing to watch someone new to the retail world and how they react to every little opportunity that presents itself. This can be true of a seasoned veteran who may be starting at a new location as well. The bottom line is they are trying to make their mark and set the tone for future success by proving that they have what it takes.
Now fast-forward a year or two after these sales associates have found some success and learned a few new skills. During this time they have learned many new things, and unfortunately not all of them are good. What you often will find is after a season they get tired of helping all the small customers with repairs or sales that appear not to have big dollar potential. They have taken notice and watched as the top dogs in sales just sit back and wait for the big opportunities while they are working 10x harder to get the same results. So in time, as their customer base grows, they follow suit as a new wave of sales associates come in and take their place and the cycle begins again.
What they do not realize is that those top dogs have worked very hard to build a solid customer base, which creates opportunities that seem easy and effortless. The problems come when sales associates stop building their customer base and settle for what they have already created. Eventually it will dwindle if you are not adding new loyal customers every year.
Many of you know that what I am sharing with you is very true and is a perfect example of how laziness and greed can hold you back from greatness. Many sales associates are selling themselves short and missing out on a lot of business that they forfeit to others. That $600,000 producer could be a $1,000,000 producer if they recognize they have been deceived and become lazy. They have bought into a lie and missed numerous opportunities to impact people’s lives in a meaningful way and make even more money.
These sales associates often become more focused on the amount of the sale and commission dollars instead of serving customers and meeting their needs. What often happens to these sales associates is in time their customer base begins to dry up because their customers are not really loyal to them. With no real customer base or foundation to draw from, they must rely on the big sale every month to make ends meet. If they don’t get the big sale opportunity, they almost always have a bad month. Many of you have someone like this in your store or know someone who operates this way. I believe these sales associates do not enjoy their careers and are held captive by their greed and laziness.
The sales associate who becomes elite and prosperous is the one who continues to sell every single customer with the same passion and energy they had when they first began. Every single customer who walks through that door is valuable to them, even if it is only replacing a watch battery or taking out watch links. When you are able to sell these customers with the same enthusiasm and quality of service as your high-end clients, they will remember you when the time comes for a bigger purchase. Even if they don’t have the means to purchase high-end jewelry, they may mention you to family members or friends who can afford nicer things. Trust me I see it happen all the time in my sales career.
The last nine years of my career I have worked in the same location and built a very large and loyal customer base by selling with the same passion and energy that I sold with from the beginning. I always like to be the first one up to greet the customer no matter how they are dressed or what their buying potential is. Sure I may miss a big sale every now and then, but what I get in return is far greater because my customers remember me and ask for me. I am always building for future success, which creates long and lasting success that never ends. So I encourage every sales associate, new and old, to examine your career and see it with clarity. Make sure that your priorities are in the right order and your customers’ needs come first. If you do, you will have a more meaningful and successful sales career.
If you are a sales associate who is looking to take your sales career to the next level of success there are a few questions that you need to ask yourself. First - Do I still sell every customer with the same passion as I did when I began? Second - Is the sale still about meeting my customer’s needs or has my focus turned more towards the sale amount or commission dollar?
If the answer is no to either of these questions you have just found the answer to many of your problems that you may be facing. All you have to do is focus your attention to selling every single customer with the same passion and add in your knowledge and selling skills that you have developed over the years. When your focus is on meeting your customer’s needs and impacting their life in a meaningful way, beautiful things will begin to happen for you and your sales career.
Today as I write this article I have just finished my 20th Christmas season on the sales floor and broke my previous record for December sales, which was set last year. It was the easiest Christmas selling season I have ever gone through. Even during the hectic Christmas season I still enjoy taking the time to sell my loyal customers and impact their lives in a meaningful way.
If you feel like you have lost that passion and energy, or feel burned out, I suggest you read my article on Maintaining Your Levels of Passion and Energy and Understanding Life’s Defining Moments. It can be found on my website www.moderndayselling.com or on www.southernjewelrynews.com under columnist Brian Barfield.