these two new parental units are getting lots of advice
right and left about how to do a great job with their
child unit. As I listen, I can't help thinking a lot of
what folks have to say about being good parents applies
perfectly to how we should be thinking about our roles
as good salespeople. So hang in there with me while I
wax philosophic about Sales as an exercise in Parenting.
you take a moment to think about it, I'm sure you'll
agree that Sales is not just about the exchange of goods
or services for money. You need to take a broader
perspective. And you absolutely gotta scrub from your
mind those stereotypic images of sleazy used-car
salesmen obnoxiously pushing for the close at all costs.
Try swapping those images for a picture of a mom or a
dad - true masters in the Art of Sales.
these situations, and tell me they don't have a thing to
do with Sales:
want to convince your child she needs to clean up her
want to convince your child he has to climb up in the
car seat by himself, 'cause he's got too big for you
to lift in.
child wants 15 more minutes of staying-up time.
child thinks veggies are yucky.
want your child to respect your decisions.
want to inspire your child to be enthusiastic about
all about persuasion. Sales is not exclusively an
exchange that takes place only in a store (or its
cyber-equivalent) - it takes place when you persuade
your customer to opt into a newsletter, sign up for a
sweepstakes, subscribe for an e-mail list, register for
a class or conference, become an affiliate, refer a
friend, and, yes, buy your product or service.
is an effort to motivate your customer to take action.
Not just any action, but those actions that are
meaningful to the relationship you have established, in
which you guide your customers' choices, present them
with options and lead them (often without them knowing
they are being led) through a process you have shaped to
achieve your goals while being sensitive to their needs.
like children, your customers have very basic needs.
They need to feel they exercise a degree of control over
their world. They need to feel they have some mastery
and competence. They need experiences that make them
feel valued and reinforce their self-esteem. They need
acknowledgement and guidance, praise and support. They
need to feel they have been heard and understood. And
ultimately, they need to feel good about the decisions
just like children, your customers come to you with
certain fixed qualities of character and temperament.
You might want them all to fit the same mold, and,
further, to fit the mold you have in mind or find most
convenient, but they never will. They have
personalities; they are their own selves. And to
succeed, you must learn to work with who they are,
rather than who you'd prefer they were.
picked up a parenting book the other day (visualize:
every spare surface around here has been taken over by
this stuff lately) and I read, “Learn to be the parent
your child needs you to be.” I can think of no sounder
advice for anyone engaged in the Art of Sales.
welcome to the human world, little reminder-of-what’s-really-important.
Congratulations and best of luck to my dear friends
Bryan and Stacey. And to every e-commerce family out
there headed by "parents" who
to “sell,” in any of its myriad incarnations, take a
page from “Sales as Parental Persuasion” a la Grok!
to join me clapping and cheering for the newbie? Email
promise to forward your regards to Bryan and Stacey.
soon to a website near you –
in fact, maybe YOURS!
guys and gals have been asking and asking, so OK:
I'm now making house calls. That’s right, I'm
visiting your own websites and will be writing in
future issues about how you can apply the stuff we
talk about here.
want a free Grokanalysis of your site? It’s
simple. Just click
here, fill out the form, send it to us, and
if I think your site illustrates something that will
be of interest to a lot of our readers, you’re in!
are you listening?
Reader Favorite: Originally Published 3/15/00
you listening? We all do; every one of us is always tuned
into our favorite "radio station", WIIFM,
What's In It For Me!
When we design our websites, how do we meet the needs of
every type of personality that may visit? Each personality
has preferences in how they interact, view the world, and
the time of Aristotle, it has been known that each of the
millions of different personalities will fall basically
into one of four groups by temperament: Driver,
Amiable, Expressive and Analytical.
major objective of a website is to be able to
consistently communicate to each of the four temperaments,
so that the prospect can "self serve" himself or
herself the appropriate information that they require to
influence their buying decision. We must give each
personality exactly what they want and need.
Lets take a look at
the four basic personality types:
have a deep appreciation for challenges. They enjoy being in control, are goal
oriented and are looking for methods for completing tasks. They are usually
quick to reach a decision. They want to know what your product or service can
do for them to solve their problem.
appreciate the personal touch. They like things that are non-threatening and
friendly. They hate dealing with impersonal details and cold hard facts. They
are usually quick to reach a decision. They want to know why your product or
service is best to solve their problem.
are very creative and entertaining. They enjoy helping others and are
particularly fond of socializing. They are usually slow to reach a decision.
They want to know who has used your product or service to solve problems.
appreciate facts and information presented in a logical manner as documentation
of truth. They enjoy organization and completion of detailed tasks. They do not
appreciate the "personal touch" or disorganization. They want to know how
your product or service can solve the problem.
people sell to those that they relate to the best. On average they will
usually sell to 3 out of 10 people they meet. Another 3 out of the 10
won't buy from them no matter what. The last 4 out of 10 are sitting on
the fence. It is the great sales person or website that learns to give
these 4 the information and assistance they need to reach their buying decision.
This is just part
of the challenge salespeople/ websites face in dealing with individuals.
Each of us also has different means in which our brains prefer to "take
in and process" information: Visually, Auditory and Kinesthetically.
One Internet company
has used this understanding of individuals to grow as one of the premier brands.
AOL has grown its flagship service to over 20 million members, by providing a
simple way to get on the Internet, understanding and providing people with a
sense of community and, by engaging all three processes, they have made
Selling the Internet
is a difficult thing, because the Internet is an intangible. AOL
understood that by putting their colorful CD-Rom packages and disks in the
hands of people, they provided a kinesthetically oriented individual the
opportunity to get a "hold of" the Internet and what it offered. When
you signed on, you were met with a beautifully simple and colorful screen
to provide visually oriented people with a pleasant experience. However, the
ultimate genius was the auditory cue that was used, it has become an icon and
an anchor for millions of individuals…"you've got mail."
Have you tuned into
your customer's favorite station or will you march by the beat of your own