Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Art of the Personal Sale

We live in an interesting age in business.  The internet has helped us build our awareness with search engines, blogs,  discussion boards, and websites.  If you can just get something out there, someone, somewhere will see you.   It’s a great new world.  We embrace the internet as an awesome tool to help others become aware of you.  

But in business, you have to build relationships.  You can't do serious business without them. It’s hard to get to know someone online.  There will come a point when you eventually have to connect with somebody, look them in the eye…and close the sale….in person.
Man selling goods in an Istanbul market – photo by Bob Clark

In many places throughout the world, the tradition of face-to-face selling is a time-honored ritual.  If you someday get the chance to go to Istanbul, you should definitely go shopping in the marketplace.  You will notice something interesting.  People want to sell YOU something – the focus is on “You” not “something”.  In fact, if you want to buy something, i.e. a rug (very popular in Istanbul), the shop owner will want to sit down with you, pour you a nice cup of apple tea, and talk…for a while.  Really, there is no other way to buy a beautiful rug.  That shop owner needs to get to know you to understand what makes you tick.  You will discuss the goods, he will grow to know who you are, where you are from, your name, your kids and what you like.  You WILL buy something – you certainly don’t have to, but you will really want to.  It is a wonderful ritual in the art of selling. 

So as we navigate the Internet Age, don’t lose sight of the heart and art of the personal sale.

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