I love to study people. I love to study responses that people have, good, bad, or otherwise. Oh, it is, no doubt, a bit more tricky when you are online. However, with the use of Skype, Google Hangouts, and Facebook Video Calling, there are more and more opportunities to have virtual face-to-face encounters with people over the internet. And, in spite of all of the virtual opportunities, we still cross paths with human beings from time to time.
In all my studying of people, there are three things that come to mind when I think of "Subtleties of Sales." They are subtleties, that, at least in my book, could make or break the sale.
Have you ever been speaking to someone, salesperson or not, and they are talking (or presumably listening), and their eyes are going everywhere but at you? They look like they are following the fly in the corner of the room. How does that make you feel? For me, personally, I don't really care to carry on the conversation and try all the harder to have it find a happy ending.
Do want that sale, even in a Skype conversation? Then, don't look like you are trying to remember the date you had in Jr. High. Please, look at the person in the face, at the least, and, if you can muster it, try to look them in the eyes.
Gestures and Body Language
I find gestures a little easier to overlook, in a salesperson. I figure that sometimes people just "don't know any better" and it may be simply a nervous tic and not necessarily a reflection of how much they like me, don't like me, or pretend to like me. However, that said, not everyone is like me. Not everyone is able to overlook annoying gestures.
My suggestion? Practice in front of a mirror. When you think you have it down, pull out an iPhone or camera and prop it on some books on your dresser and record yourself. Then, you be your own judge on those gestures. If you look like Dana Carvey's "Church Lady," and that is not the approach that you intended for your sales pitch, it is time to take a trip back in front of the mirror for more practice.
Have you ever been speaking to someone and mid-sentence they start to speak to someone else? Oh, this is not uncommon when the person talking is relatively shallow or narcissistic and they see someone that they deem as "better" than you and don't want to miss their opportunity to hobnob with someone with more power or money than they perceive that you have, or what you will part with for them.
My suggestion? Treat everybody like they are somebody. You just never know when you will run into someone like Julia Robert's character in "Pretty Womain," when she comes into a boutique the next day, after having been snubbed, holding her recently purchased expensive gifts, and says, "Big Mistake" to the store employees. You see, people like me, love to test you to see if you can at least "act" like you care. Call it boredom, but do you, as a salesperson want to lose a potential sale over it? Here is a tip. If you feel you need to go after that bigger fish, simply say, "Excuse me," before ending the conversation abruptly with your absence. It goes a long way toward making points and not burning the sales bridge.
In the end, if you want to keep it simple, here is my two-word answer: "Be Sincere." If you can't be sincere, then learn how to fake it really, really well and practice some of the tips, above, to help you at least appear to care for the person about to give you the sale.