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Headset Sales

June 29, 2011

Occasionally a large corporate perspective can give women entrepreneurs something to ponder. Recently a young woman told me about her experience beginning work at a national clothing store at a major mall. The first day on the job she was handed a headset to wear and told to stand at the entrance of the store to greet customers.  The average “How can I help you?” won’t work the manager told her, we need you to be assertive by asking questions and sticking with a customer until they buy something since we have a $14,000 a day sales minimum.

Although nervous by their direct approach, her lack of sales training, and her somewhat timid personality, she strapped the headset on and tried her best.  Every time a customer said the typical response, “Thanks for asking, I am just looking” she heard a voice in her ear piece tell her she needed to be more aggressive. She tried and tried to sell but consumers didn’t want to be sold, they just wanted to look.  Frustrated by the company’s high pressure sales techniques, she left the job although she needed the money to pay for college.

As she told me the story, I explained to her the dire need this company apparently has to achieve a sales quota to pay for its rental fee, staff and inventory. After our conversation, I thought about the fact most women entrepreneurs I know don’t implement such high pressure sales techniques and don’t set daily sales minimums. Most have a more relaxed sales approach. Although this approach might keep our stress level down, it probably keeps our sales level down too. Women seem to be uncomfortable when it comes to being assertive with sales.

Today’s blog post is meant to have you contemplate whether you need to implement a more disciplined and methodical sales plan to increase corporate revenue.  Should you be setting and conducting a specific amount of daily or weekly sales calls? Would posting a monetary sales figure on your computer help you hit weekly revenue goals?  Do you need to reserve one day each week this summer for sales calls only?

There is wisdom all around us. Let’s not forget there are large national companies using business strategies we can learn from. I’m not suggesting you go out today to buy headsets for all your employees and critique them after every sales encounter, but I do suggest you put this question in your head, “Do I need a more structured sales plan to become more successful today?”

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