Today I was sitting with my Internet Sales Manager discussing some challenges we have faced with a few salespersons at our two local dealerships. As we talked about training and mentoring these salesmen, My Internet Sales Manager shared a Philosophy that was shared to him years ago. What he said was, “there are two kinds of Salesman, Crocodiles or Elephants. “
Do you as a salesperson convince the customer that you act in their best interest?
A common opinion of a salesperson is that we are like crocodiles. Big mouthed, quite small ears. Aggressive creatures. We attack as soon as we have a chance of a deal. We leave no thoughts of the customer’s needs whatsoever. The product must be sold at any cost, and we do this by keep on talking.
“Do you care about me?”
This philosophy has always been that it is better to be an elephant. A listening salesperson is like an elephant. Big ears, a pretty big mouth, a calm and friendly image. I’m with these customers for a reason: The customer has a need and they will not buy anything until I have convinced them that I am their friend and that I act in their best interest.
If a prospect likes you, the details will not get in the way of a sale. But if the prospect is neutral or negative towards you, the details will trip you up every step of the way and often make the sale impossible. The first unspoken question a customer asks when they meet you for the first time is “Do you care about me?” If you do not answer yes in the first minute or two, they will quietly start losing interest in you. They may politely sit through your presentation, thank you for the meeting, and say something like “We’ll get back to you…”
We do business with people we like
We do business with people we like, and towards whom we feel friendly. We set the stage for the relationship within the first few seconds of the first conversation and with the first few words. If you enter the room with a big mouth and small ears the chance of closing the deal is pretty low. If you enter the room with a big smile, big ears and saying “ I care about you”, the chance of closing the deal is much much higher.
Who would not want to be friends with an elephant!