If you’re a sales person and you’ve tried to sell me, I’m sorry . . . because not everyone wants to be put through an unsuspecting skill check whilst performing their job. Please don’t misunderstand, I’m not cruel or mean but I’m on a life long quest to understand, learn, grow and improve the Sales Profession and Selling Skills in every capacity.
That being said, I wanted to dissect and seek to understand this exchange I had the other day at a Mini-Chamber Mixer. I dropped my business card in the ‘ole fish bowl for the door prize drawing. The very last door prize was a nice wine basket and glasses donated by a Travel Agency and Luck Be A Lady—they pulled MY card. Yay! Free Wine!
I collected the basket and made my way to the Travel Agent’s table top display and thanked them for the gift. My dear friend S.S. was there and knew the Travel Agent. She stood beside me and said to me, “Shawn, this is G, she and I were just talking about a trip to Disney. Shawn has young kids too.”
I smiled at G and told her, “Oh, yes, but we’re not interested in Disney. They wanted to go to the beach instead so we planned a trip there for Fall Break.”
G replied “Oh, how nice, maybe you could do Disney for Spring Break.”
Eyeballing the aqua blue waters on the resort brochure in front of me, I pointed to it and said, “Nah, what I really need is an island getaway with just my husband. It’s a trip with your children. It’s a vacation when you’re not yelling at someone to eat their chicken and stop licking their brother.”
To this, G responded, “Well, you could go to this resort. It has childcare.”
Still smiling but now turning my body away from her slightly and backing up, I said, “Yes, but you still have to travel with the little monkeys and cannot be slurpin’ frozen rum 24/7 while you’re parenting.”
And then G said, “Oh, but they even have the kids activities broken down by age.”
To this point, she lost me. I mean, literally lost me. I’m staring at a tropical brochure thinking ’bout lazing around on the beach and drinking fruity schmooty cocktails and WHY on EARTH is she trying to insert my children into this daydream? Seriously. I have told her exactly what I want, why would she push something else?
Truthfully, my over-worked parental nerves are shot and I was seriously considering handing over my vacation funds and saying, “G, book us in paradise”, but she couldn’t even hear it because
- She came at me with some seriously pre-conceived notions of what I wanted or needed
- She wasn’t listening to what I was telling her I wanted and . . .
- Clearly, she was NOT listening to my body language as I pointed, touched and looked at the brochure for the adults only tropical resort.
It would have been so easy for G to have collected my email address, my phone number, my permission to have her follow up with me in a day or two after I went home with the brochure to discuss it with my husband over the bottle of wine I had won.
However, I simply thanked her again for the door prize and left her table. Truly disappointed that she worked so hard to try to sell me on something I clearly didn’t want.
I don’t think I’ve answered the question, “WHY” she did that but I can tell you how you can avoid the same mistake.
It’s pretty simple.
- Drop you preconceived notions about what people want or need. Even if you’re sure you know the answers, ASK the questions anyway.
- Listen to what people are saying. People actually tell you what they want and how they want to buy.
- Pay attention to people’s body language. It communicates more than words—can tell you when people are in to you or when you’re losing their attention.
So, no vacation is on the books for me. The salty ocean breeze blowing through my hair and endless fruity cocktails are only a figment of my imagination at this point.
It’s a good thing I love my work and my monkeys.
Until next time . . . keep kickin’ butt!
Great story! I’m not the salesy-type but I was shaking my head as I was reading this thinking even I could have picked up on those clues. Wondering if this has happened to me before and I didn’t even realize it… will definitely be more aware now.
Thanks, Emily! It’s interesting to stop and really look at these seemingly harmless every day encounters that make up hundreds of our “sales” transactions.