A (Sales) Miracle on 34th Street
I have a Miracle for you, whether you work on 34th Street or, like me, Oakwood Road …
A little boy sits on Santa’s lap. He desperately wants a specific item and pleads his case to the man in red. Santa, an employee of the Macy’s Department Store does not sell that particular toy. But rather than convincing the young man to take a lesser replacement, he suggests to the boys mother that they pay a visit to Macy’s competitor, Gimbels.
The mother is shocked. Why would Company A recommend Company B, the competition? Isn’t that counterintuitive? Santa is a salesperson in disguise. She can’t understand why he would consciously make this suggestion.
When the boss overhears his employee’s conversation with the boy, he is furious. That anger, however, is short-lived as the mother steps in to inform the supervisor that she wants to do business with a company who thinks about the customer first and profit second.
Regardless of what you sell, it does not meet every need the client will have. Sooner or later, a request will come up that you cannot fill. You have two choices: Say, “No” or perform a miracle by finding a good source. Such behavior is shocking and unheard-of. The reaction will not be consistent throughout your entire customer base, but the right kind of customer will surely understand and see the value you are bringing even if you are not making a sale.
One of your goals is to become a wide-ranging source of products, services, and information. You want your clients calling you for gift ideas for their spouse, movie choices for date night and a suggestion for a good book to read. In doing so, they are not only paying you a compliment but also acknowledging the highly desirable brand that you have built in their minds: Resource.
Believe in Santa and believe in doing the right thing. Both will bring you gifts.
I now have two books available on Amazon (3, if you count the second version of the first one)…
The 25 Best Print Sales Tips Ever!
NEW: Who’s Making Money at Digital/Inkjet Printing… And How?
Bill Farquharson is a sales trainer for the graphic arts. Email him at Bill@AspireFor.com or call (781) 934-7036. Bill’s two books, The 25 Best Print Sales Tips Ever and Who’s Making Money at Digital/Inkjet Printing…and How? as well as information on his new subscription-based website, The Sales Vault are available at BillFarquharson.com.