This Episode: Everyone Has A Story

Every customer has a unique story. Taking time to listen, without judging, is the best way to lead them to a Perfect Purchase.
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Hey, it’s Bob Negen, and this is another episode of Real Retail TV. And today I’m going to share with you something really, really important– something that all good retail sales people do instinctively.

So in today’s episode, you’re going to see a video from the Retail Sales Academy– actually from the ongoing professional development phase of the Retail Sales Academy titled, “Everybody has a Story.” And the thing that I alluded to earlier about what the best retail sales people do, is they really have a deep, deep empathy that they’re not making judgments, that they’re not getting ahead of themselves, that they’re listening at a very deep emotional level. And that’s what this video talks about. I hope that you enjoy it, and we’ll talk about it in a little more after it’s over.

Hey, it’s Bob Negen again, and another episode of your ongoing professional development series. You know, as we talk about it every two weeks, these videos are here to keep your head in the game, to give you more information, to help you become a more successful retail sales person.

And so today we’re going to explore this idea that everybody has a story, that everyone who comes into your store has something going on in their lives that you don’t know about, but that may be relevant to the process of getting them to a perfect purchase.

There’s a term called sonder. And the definition of sondor, from the Dictionary of Urban Sorrows– isn’t that something, a Dictionary of Urban Sorrows– goes like this– “Sondor is the realization that each random passerby is living a life as vivid and complex as your own, populated with their own ambitions, friends, routines, worries, and inherited craziness, an epic history that continues invisibly around you like an anthill sprawling deep underground with elaborate passageways and thousands of other lives that you’ll never know existed, in which you may appear only once, as an extra sipping a coffee in the background, as the blur of a traffic light passing on a highway, as a lighted window at dusk.”

Or might I add, as a sales person in a store. So everybody you talk to has a story. And understand that everybody deserves your best self. And it kind of goes to this idea of, never judge. You know, someone may not be dressed well. Somebody may smell bad. Somebody may be really weird and uptight at that moment. But you never know what’s going on with them.

Recently I heard a story about a woman who owns a knitting ware store. And she told the story about somebody coming in, just about the time that they were closing. And she seemed upset and distraught and really, really, really anxious. But this person, even though it was closing time, decided to relax and be kind and give this person the benefit of the doubt, and let this person shop. And she stayed quite a bit longer than she should have or could have. The store had been closed for a half hour when this person finally found the project and the materials that she needed.

And it turned out that one of her best friends had just died in a storm that had come through the Northeast. And she didn’t know what to do with her hands, so she thought of knitting and she went to this knitting store. That is an example of sonder. You don’t know. Because somebody dresses a particular way, or because somebody is behaving a certain way, doesn’t mean that they’re bad, that they’re poor, that they’re weird, that they’re crazy. It just means that something is happening in their lives.

And I want you to remember that every day you hit the floor, you have the opportunity to change lives, not by just doing your work well, not by getting your customer to the perfect purchase every time, but by being a good, kind, understanding person, understanding sonder, understanding everyone has their own story and respecting everyone’s story.

Don’t you love that idea of sonder? When I first heard that, it just– it really, really resonated with me. And right away I started to think about retail sales people. Because, you know, we deal with so many people. We talk to so many people. If you’re an owner or manager, you work with not only your team members, but your customers on the floor. And understanding that there is a deeper life and a deeper story to everyone, and really focusing in on how you can tap into that deeper story, how you can help in a deeper, more human way is one of the things that– it just really struck me as an opportunity that we have as retailers to make the world a better place.

Now, I mentioned earlier that this was an ongoing professional development video. One of the beautiful things about the Retail Sales Academy, and the only sales training program ever to do this, is that is a system. It’s not a training program, it’s a training system. Your team members will get trained. And then the second phase is called mastery in application, where they go deeper into the information. And the third phase, from which this video came, is called ongoing professional development.

Because we believe, and science has shown, that if you don’t continuously engage in the information, you forget it. Its called the forgetting curve. So no matter what kind of sales training you’ve been through, you owe it to yourself to take a look at the Retail Sales Academy. And you can find out more by going to RetailSalesAcadamy.com.

As always, I love your comments, your tips, your thoughts. Anything you have to say to me, put it down in the comments section below. I’m Bob Negen. I am here for you, and we will see you again next week.

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