Attention Sales People – Do NOT Do This!

HomeGoodsCarriage_lowI wandered into the home goods store with absolutely no particular need in mind. I just liked the looks of a few of the things I saw in the window so I went inside. A woman instantly approached me as I was looking at a wall full of interesting things, pointed at some nearby candle holders and immediately said to me, "These are on sale. They are really nice and and they are a very good price. See, you can use them for a candle or you could put a flower it them."  

"Oh yes, they seem nice, but I don't use candle holders."

Quickly she picked up a sofa throw pillow made out of turquoise feathers, and said, "Isn't this pretty? This is really different."

"Not quite my style," I replied. "Very pretty, but not my style."

After her pointing to one more item that she liked and thought was great, I began to wonder. Did no one explain to her that before you can suggest something for someone to buy – you need to find out a little bit about them? Perhaps what they might like? I certainly didn't feel like her objective was to learn anything about me and what I wanted or needed. Instead I felt like her intention was to sell me something – anything. I found myself actually beginning to resist anything she suggested simply because it seemed like I was a means to an end for her.  

Here's what I left with: I will never try to sell someone on a point of view, a movie, a new restaurant, or my services as a motivational speaker until I have first learned a little about them, and determined what they are looking for and what interests them. And how do I do that? Maybe it's as simple as I stop talking and I listen. I might be surprised at what I learn – and what people might want to buy from me because they believe truly I get who they are and what they want.


Motivational Speaker Linda Larsen, CSP has been described by meeting planners and audiences as "hysterically funny," and "riveting." Known for her ability to connect on an authentic and emotional level with audiences, her spontaneous sense of humor, and her engaging and powerful stories, Linda is passionate about sharing ideas to help people live their finest, best, and most productive lives. Her riveting and true story of being kidnapped and held hostage at gunpoint by an escaped convict, and the strategies she used to escape, will give people the tools THEY need to rise above any of life's toughest challenges, to communicate more effectively with THEIR difficult person, and to find creative solutions to THEIR problems. To book motivational speaker, Linda Larsen: 941-927-4700

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  1. Amen. I am guilty of this more than I'd like to admit. I get a potential client and launch into "About me"  mode without ever stopping to listen first and respond second.  Thank you for the well timed reminder!

  2. Absolute gold, Linda. It's too easy to want to launch into our benefits as motivational speakers, but as all outstanding sales people know, well-thought out, sincere questions will always move you closer to the sale. Plus, when I shop with no agenda, please leave me alone! That's why I'm shopping — mindless, numbing fun.

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