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Why Sell Ice To The Eskimos?

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“Oh, you know Mike? He’s a great salesman! Honestly, one of the best. He can sell ice to the Eskimos!”

Oh can he now? What on Earth is the point in selling ice to the Eskimos? Do Eskimos need more ice? Is that truly what they need in life right now? I sincerely doubt it. I don’t mean to sound so negative at the start of this blog post, so allow me the chance to back track just ever so slightly…

Several years ago, I set out on a mission to improve the quality of salesmen and saleswomen up and down the country. Not only that, I set out to improve the reputation that salesmen have and the public perception of salesmen. Over the years, sales professionals have been perceived as being sleazy, manipulative, deceitful and at times, damn right dishonest. Sure, I feel this reputation has been well deserved after years of dodgy sales techniques, manipulation and thousands of unhappy customers all feeling let down by their purchase.

But this does not have to be the case.

I will always say (and mention heavily in Relationship Selling that the best sales professionals in the world will work tirelessly to find the right solution for their customer. A good salesman will listen to their prospect, determine their needs, and to be the bridge between problem and solution. I am sure I am going over common ground now. So when I hear the saying; “He can sell ice to the eskimos”, it gets my back up a little bit. And here is why…

Eskimos, I am sure, do not need ice. A great salesman will look to solve a problem an Eskimo may have; such as a need for warmer clothing, fire lighting equipment, building equipment or medical supplies perhaps. A sale, put very simply, is finding a solution to a problem. Or strengthening a weakness that a customer has.

Therefore, in all of our sales training courses we tell our delegates to ask questions first, identify a problem, and see what you available to solve it. An even better salesman will be willing to walk away from a sales presentation if he or she cannot meet the needs of the customer.

The purpose of this post is to remind you to stop pitching to your prospect what YOU want to sell. Just because you have targets to meet, bosses to please, or an ego to bathe you should never sell something to someone who quite simply is not right for your offer.

This is where killer prospecting comes in to play. If you do your homework way before you make a sales call, identify a target whom has the potential to need your goods or services, and then ask them relevant questions to draw out that weakness or problem then you are well on the way to making a sale. From there, all you have to do is simply ask for the sale and BOOM – the sale is more than likely yours.

If there is one thing I urge you to take away from this post, it is this: question everything. Find customers who have a true need for your goods or service and you will see an increase in your sales almost immediately.

Paragon Sales Solutions are Leicester’s leading sales consultants, offering:

– Sales Contracts

– Sales Training

– Social Media Management

– B2B Telesales / Telemarketing

We cater for any size business, and what makes us stand out is that we truly care. Our services can be catered for your business and our sales professionals will work tirelessly to ensure your sales targets are met. Be sure to visit our website for more details on how our sales solutions can help your business. 


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