First of all, you may or may not know that I am a digital nomad since January 2017 and am currently working from various locations around Europe. It’s pretty awesome!
The other day I was at the morning fish market in Hamburg, Germany (eating fish sandwiches at 7am is an experience I highly recommend, by the way) and I noticed that among the many booths, some of the sellers were yelling out their prices to passersby. Those same sellers were also singing songs, joking with the crowd of people gathered around, and generally seemed to have a lot of personality.
I would dare to wager that those guys sold more fish than the other booths. Why? Because they stood out.
My theory comes from one of the basic principles of sales – Selling is all about relationship-building.
In the case of these fish vendors, their boldness allowed them to stand out, which created a starting point of interaction with these potential customers.
This experience got me thinking about sales reps in general, and how critical being memorable, standing out, and building relationships are to making a sale. It’s important to note that if you own a business then you are, in fact, a sales rep.
If you focus solely on what your product or service is or does, you risk blending in with all the others who provide your same service or sell the same product.
But by creating a personalized experience through conversations with your customers – whether that conversation is in the form of an online survey, a blog post, a video or a song – they get to know you better and in turn, begin to see you as a human with a personality, and not a sales person they are trying to avoid.
This is the first step to building lasting relationships with your customers.
If you’re creating memorable experiences, hopefully you’re doing it in a positive way. Another common wisdom in the sales world – people buy from people they like.
If your potential customers like you, then they’re more likely to trust you, and people buy from people they trust.
When you leave the fish market you may think back on the souvenirs you saw, the coffee you bought (a godsend at that early hour), the vendors selling baskets of fruit and the beer being drunk in the live music hall. Yes, you read that right. Germany is an amazing place.
Naturally, in a fish market, you’ll have seen more fish vendors than anything else – dozens in fact. Which ones will you remember? Probably the ones that sing songs and make friends with passersby.
How will you stand out and add your personality to the marketplace?
Sure, selling fish is nowhere near as complex as getting someone to use your legal services or sign up for a monthly software service – but the principle remains the same. Stand out in a positive way, and you’re more likely to get the business.
We’re all being sold to all the time, and there are multiple providers of nearly every service or product out there. How you differentiate yourself and stand out to your customers will affect their decision to buy from YOU and not the other guy.
I never knew fish could teach me so much about sales. (I’ll skip the fish sandwich recommendation though, at 7 AM and otherwise.)
You’ll never know what you’re missing:) Thanks for reading, Valerio!