Getting Schooled in Sales – Irish Style
I was lurking on the edge of the “House of Ireland “shop in the transit lounge at Dublin airport. At 500 square feet, the storefront is a large, imposing oasis of color and texture standing out in a desert of bookshops and fast food places.
Rows of elegant scarves and rugs beckoned enticingly and lured me closer to the counter. The charming Mary Elizabeth smiled at me. I was about to get served and trained in sales by the Irish.
Thousands of people pass this store every day. Mary Elizabeth exuded a natural warmth and welcome devoid of any need to make a sale. Her mission was to
serve me so that I left better for having met her. I liked her flashing eyes, her warmth, her quiet nonchalance and her energy.
Her: What is such a handsome fella doing on his own in Dublin today?
Me: Going home.
Her: And where in the world might that be?
Me: Chicago area.
Her: Ah (she crooned with her beautiful Irish accent), a lovely city with many Irish people. Who is there who must be missing you?
Listening for what I cared about and creating a compelling offer
Me: My wife.
Her: So something for the missus, is it?
Me: I think that would be smart.
Her: Look at this beautiful cashmere scarf.
Me: It is very nice.
Her: Feel how soft it is. Imagine what your wife will say when she sees this.
Invitation and close
Her: Listen boy-o, I know she is a lucky woman. Give this to her and she will know you were thinking about her and that you love her.
Me: I’ll take it!
Her: And you will never have to sleep on the couch again.
I got home and my gift was well received.
I felt very much taken care of at the House of Ireland. I got what I wanted and it was fun. I felt heard at a deep level and served. I also got some training in sales and service.
So what did I learn?
Where we come from is detectable.
Being authentic and related allows for discerning the real need and being able to respond to it. My wife did not really need a scarf. What she loved was the expression of love and care and being remembered. The elegance and quality of the scarf conveyed the message of love and appreciation.
When we connect deeply with what people care about, we can craft a valuable offer that very often will be accepted.
We are looking forward to your thoughts
About Richard Hartmann
Richard is an executive/leadership coach, performance consultant and culture change facilitator. He has worked in Australia, the US and the UK, across the energy sector, financial services and large scale infrastructure. For over twenty-five years, Richard has enhanced the performance of executives and senior leaders, facilitated cultural and organization change, and developed high-performing teams. To learn more visit the JBL&A Associates