You have your way. I have my way. As for the right way, the correct way, and the only way, it does not exist.

I’m Not Sure, What Do You Think?

 

Friedrich Nietzsche once said: You have your way. I have my way. As for the right way, the correct way, and the only way, it does not exist.

 

Over the years, I have met thousands of people- it’s one of the joys of working in retail. One thing I’ve learned to pick up on is how people process information. Mainly because, if they don’t process in the same way you do, it can be quite frustrating- for both parties.

 

Here’s an example that happened to me the other day; stood in our local wine merchants comparing bottles- country of origin, grape, price, what I’m eating that evening. Choice made. End of. Paid for. Home.

 

At the side of me, a couple were debating the same thing- they were mid-conversation when I arrived, weighing up their choices (same as mine). She asked what I thought: I gave my opinion, they asked the lad restocking the shelves:  he gave his (far more informed) opinion. When I got to the till, the cashier asked what I had recommended- apparently my choice was the same as hers, whom they had also asked.

 

They may still be there now, debating the choice available, accosting random strangers for their opinion.

 

The fact is we all process information in different ways, and we all make decisions in different ways based on our different processes. There are no right or wrong ways- just different.

 

In business, the trick is not to communicate in the way that works for you… but in the way that works for your customer. We’ve all met the “Pushy Salesperson”, but sometimes, they are not pushy; they are just overwhelming people with information, using jargon, telling the customer stuff that they are not interested in.

 

Successful businesses use language and methods of communication that their customers use. It seems simple, but over the years, I’ve learned that the most successful salespeople are the people who get their customers nodding during their pitches- whether that’s selling a product or a service. I’ve also seen sales pitches fall at the first hurdle when the seller completely misjudges their audience.

 

You can’t always do your homework before you meet someone- especially in retail, but also at networking events, trade shows etc. I find the trick is to smile, greet, ask them how they are, how can I help them…..then sit back and listen and watch whilst they talk. All your clues are there- their style of conversation, their body language, even their mood at that moment. 

 

In fact I’m probably preaching to the converted. Sorry if I am; it’s just that whenever I go to a networking event, and am accosted by “the one”- you know, shakes your hand and palms you a business card, launches into the benefits of the “Spratchett”, tells you they’ll call you, and shoots off as soon as you try to get a word in edgeways, I think about what they didn’t do to engage my interest, and remember why I do do it:

It may work for them, but it doesn’t work for me; and I was their potential customer.

 

It’s good to talk- better to communicate

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