Saturday, 7 February 2009

Instant sales

I was honoured to be invited to judge a Young Enterprise trade fair today in Belfast. Young people from local schools set up real businesses and then trade through the academic year. As well as attempting to make money as a business, the purpose of the initiative is to learn what it is like to run a business and experience all the challenges that go with it.

Of course one of the biggest challenges is to get sales and I was impressed by the enthusiasm and efforts the young people made to encourage the public to get involved in what they were selling. Some had dressed up in constume to attract attention, others were meeting and greeting people at the entrance to the shopping centre with a big smile and a catchy welcome. Others waited for the public to pass by their stands, attractively decorated with their products and sales message.

Many of the youngsters had the natural touch for engaging you in conversation and very obvious pride in their product. They had belief and knowledge that is often missing in the everyday business world. How often do we come across people selling their wares who appear to be just going through the motions and have no passion for what they do? This was not the case here.

The key to selling anything is to make a great first impression and demonstrate passion and knowledge around your subject. People need a reason to buy and these young entrepreneurs were providing that reason. My wife walked away with several purchases from some of the stands, with a very real intention to use the products which met her needs and solved a problem. This is essential in any sales conversaton.

The consumer only buys for two reasons: a) to solve a problem, or b) to provide a means of achieving a dream. The majority of the stands in the trade fair did exactly what they needed to do to create instant sales. They created a great first impression, delivered their message with passion, listened to their customers and provided a solution to their problem at a price that reflected value for money.

By delivering on all these fronts, they did not need to sell, they simply provided the customer with a compelling reason to buy. That's the only way to sell - do it from a buyer's perspective.

If you need to increase your sales by selling from a buyer's perspective - check out our next event.

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