Who Wears the Sales Hat in Your Spa?

By Holly Zoba Senior VP of Sales - Hospitality, Signature Worldwide | July 07, 2013

People hate to be sold, but love to buy. I don’t know who said this first, but the concept is brilliant. As a salesperson, it makes perfect sense to me, but for those who are wondering precisely what that statement means, let me explain.

When you walk into a store and the sales clerk follows you around and keeps offering to “help” you, you generally are going to say, no, just browsing thanks. When you walk down the aisles of a trade show, you purposefully avoid making eye contact with the people shilling their wares behind the booth because you don’t want them to approach you. When you get a telemarketing call, you want to hang up immediately, regardless of the product or deal they are selling because you are sure you are going to be taken. All of these are examples of that pressure we feel when someone is trying to sell us something, that feeling we intrinsically hate and try to avoid. You might be in that retail store because you must buy a blue shirt before you leave, but rather than face a pushy salesperson, you will look through all the racks yourself. That is how much people hate to be sold.

But how much do people like to buy? Just look at the results of holiday spending every single year – it always exceeds the stated budget of the shoppers. The majority of people do, in fact, love to buy.

So why bother with salespeople then? Aren’t they really just getting in the way of a sale? Yes, they kind of are.

Think about the negative connotations associated with the term salesperson - desperate, manipulative, sleazy, pushy, and annoying. Movies like Glengarry Glen Ross and Boiler Room haven’t really helped our cause either. They paint salespeople as whiny, dishonest and downright frightening to encounter.

Many companies have done away with the sales title all together and instead call their sellers “consultants” or “business development experts” or “customer advocates.” All of those sound a lot better than a salesperson. But, if the “consultant” continues to act like a typical salesperson, the results will be the same. If your motive is judged to be at all self serving, you dramatically lessen your chances of getting that customer to sign on the dotted line.

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