Friends, Family and clients still ask on occasion “how did you do it – how did you manage to sell over $600K in shoes?”
As mentioned in previous posts, the supposed “secret” to selling is actually not a secret at all. Based on my experience, there are three skills you must embrace to become a top-tier sales Jedi in today’s hypercompetitive marketplace:
1) Understand selling is just a numbers game
One day you’ll sell $11K in three hours of work and the next you’ll struggle to sell $1K over the span of an entire day. But in the aggregate, remaining steadfastly focused on your goals will pay off, with a gradual climb toward long-term success.
2) Understand the 80/20 rule
As mentioned in post #2 of this series, memorize the 20% that makes 80% of the difference until it’s instinctive. This is imperative; your long-term viability as a sales professional depends on it.
3) Develop the ability to quickly identify, hone and leverage the triggers of your target consumer
Of the above three skills, point #3 will catapult you the furthest and fastest. Triggers become significantly more apparent as the frequency of sales presentations increase.
Nordstrom is the ideal environment for scaling sales trigger understanding because a sales rep executes roughly 20 presentations/day during the week and more than 40/day on the weekend. Retail is a fast-paced and transaction-oriented environment. Therefore, within a very short amount of time you’re blessed with the benefit of executing hundreds transactions and obtaining large swaths of customer feedback. These are crucial in facilitating your understanding of the wants, needs and ultimately the triggers of your target consumer.
The downside of this type of sales environment is the very “short leash” you’re given. If you don’t produce the boot will arrive on the horizon very fast. You are expected to ramp up sales significantly faster than in other sales contexts.
For instance, on the other side of the pendulum reside enterprise sales. In the beginning, these are long, drawn out and sporadic transactions (2 – 6 month sales cycle). Every opportunity to identify and hone sales triggers must be cherished. In this environment, you are given a longer lead time to “figure it out,” but even then your “leash” is only as long as the market allows – which isn’t more than four months.