Even Salespeople Are Human (Blog)
Use this thread to discuss the following entry from Steve Pavlina's blog:
Even Salespeople Are Human
Timeshare sellers - ugh!
Hiya Steve and everyone else,
In European resorts timeshare touts use free gifts, tickets to local theme parks and other goodies to get you in. In London they use "free" holidays which you have to pay overpriced flights for and then get more timeshare bombarding while you are on holiday.
I normally mess with these people if I have the time and keep them on the phone before putting it down hoping that they might re-evaluate if they are wasting their time.
They know exactly what they are doing though and they make money for every sucker they deliver to the salesmen in sharp suits ... we can but try ...
good post. M.
When I was in Hong Kong and Thailand I had to deal with the same kind of people who sold (fake) watches, suits or tried to get you into a guesthouse (budget hotel).
A few lines that worked pretty well:
So yes, humor works best I guess to break down somebody's shield :D
Duh, of course salespeople are human! That "shell" you refer to has a lot of purposes. One, it lets harsh people who give them crap bounce off of them. Two, it lets them kind of zone out until they can clock out because I doubt most casino workers want to be doing what they're doing -- they're just doing it to make ends meet. I certainly wouldn't want to face the overall implications of running around a dark, smoke-filled room in fishnets and high heels getting gamblers drunk so they can ogle them. Or fishing for tourists with timeshares and free show tickets.
I hope that I don't forget that when I've moved farther away from my high school and college self, working retail to fund my independence until I had the experience/education necessary to move on.
Despite the overall tone of this post, though, I must say that my experience working in retail was overwhelmingly positive. The vast majority of customers out there aren't out to get you, and many do take the time to connect with you as a human being, whether they're a regular or not. The only bad retail experiences I ever had were because of coworkers, not customers. Even my more recent dabbling in commission sales hasn't been all that bad. People are wary, yes, but not mean (unless they've got other issues going on), and some people are downright enthusiastic.
Steve, thanks for finding that "Free Hugs" video! It's a gem. If you guys haven't watched it yet, do it now!
Speaking of selling time-shares in Las Vegas, I just came across this yesterday:
"David Faustino is currently working for Wynn Casino in Las Vegas selling time-shares"
totally agree with you
the truth is i didnt like the tone of the post either
though the intentions(of steve and erin)are good
I don't think we should try to actively switch people to consciousness; Even finding this site and its community is the result of a path that more or less consciously we ran.
So in my opinion stopping people in the street and trying to wake up them is useless and even offensive.
When i watched free hugs video , something really evil popped up in my head , what if somebody does the same with the signboard written " Free sex " ? what would be the response ? :D
I don't think there's anything wrong with the tone. A lot of us travel through life on autopilot from time to time; we are stuck in a cycle. Steve/Erin just jolted people out of their routine for a little bit. It might have been a little uncomfortable, but that doesn't make it wrong -- it was just in contrast to social norms. The post was titled "Even Salespeople are Human" because they are not acting human, they are just going through the motions. The reality-check forced them to acknowledge their humanity for a little bit. :)
I am a salesman for a music magazine.
While I appreciate that people should not do anything they don't morally agree with, most of us would not choose to do so unless all other avenues were closed to us. I would imagine selling timeshares does not list highly on anyone's list of perfect career choices, and those that do it for a job would rather be doing something else, but circumstance does not permit them to do so at this point in time.
I know many salespeople and most of them live with some degree of personal development in their lives. Every day we are given more rejection than in pretty much any other job, and people frequently say to me that they could not do my job for that reason. For that reason, it pays to build strong belief in yourself, so you don't take those rejections of your product to be rejections of you yourself. Furthermore, without salespeople, most businesses (outside the net at least) could not survive. We are the people that get the product into the customer's hands, and the customer's money into our business's bank account.
Scripts are used by most salespeople to most easily facilitate what the customer wants, and to cover the unique selling points of the product. When selling without a script, you may deprive the customer of hearing about a key feature that he or she would be interested in and would consequently buy the product to benefit from. Scripts are good for everyone as they offer a consistent introduction to the product that gets the point across fairly to everyone the salesperson speaks to.
A salesperson's job is not to make you buy stuff you don't want. It's to consult with you and find the right product for the right person. If there is no product suited to the customer on offer from your business, the best thing to do is let them know that, and make recommendations of where they should go, where applicable.
I put most of my own sales success (yep, I've done ok) down to having read and applied sales technique from several excellent books. The two that I would apply most would be "The One Minute Salesman" and "How to win Friends and Influence People". Both of these books are primarily about genuinely caring about people, and "The One Minute Salesman" comes back again and again to the concept of selling on need - the need of the customer. Salespeople are there to serve the customer, not to push the customer into doing something they will regret. Like any job, you can learn to be a better salesperson, which will result in making more sales, or of a higher value, or both, but being pushy and aggressive is certainly not the way to achieve this.
I dislike the tone of Steve's post - the people he talks about are not doing a bad thing for being salespeople, rather they are doing a bad thing by misrepresenting the value of what they are selling (assumedly). Like anything in life, there are good people and bad people in sales. There are people who choose to try and increase their level of conscious, and people who do not.
Sales is a very profitable career if you are good, and some of the most successful people in the world have at some stage in their lives been salespeople, and have learnt skills in that role that have stood them in good stead throughout their lives. I would give you a very rude answer if you were to question me on whether I could be doing something better with my life than sales, as if you know better than me what I should be doing. Until you live perfectly, who are you to tell anyone how they should live, especially without knowing them at all?
You've made a straw man argument here - salespeople are not all fraudsters trying to get you to buy worthless crap at exorbitant prices, but the title is not "Even timeshare salespeople are human", and the tone of the post seems intended for all salespeople, not just the ones from your specific experience.
I'm pretty sure you did not mean to offend anyone with your post, but it comes across more than a little holier than thou. But I guess even bloggers are human. :)
I thought this thread is supposed to be about free hugs ?
Come on samjbrowne, by now, we should all know that you are the best and the most respected sales person in your company, but lets drop the corporate, racial, national identity for couple of mins and have a spiritual free hug together . . . . :)
I rather enjoyed the "tone" of Steve's latest piece.
Normally after having practiced for a few hours, my brain needs some air. This is when I either go into the forest to connect with nature or into Berne's city center for a walk while getting a few things done.
Inevitabley, if I choose the latter variant, there are people stationed on every prominent street corner and square in the town. They either want to sell you something or convince you to support some worthy cause or join some cult. They approach you energetically and will talk for hours if you let them. If you refuse their offer, you are met with either a) the hurt puppy-dog look or b) the look which says you are a pleb who is not doing her part for society, and that the world will end because of people like you.
When I walk down the street or go shopping I do not want to be harassed or bothered. This is private time. If I am interested in supporting a worthy cause or subscribing to a new service, I will not be molested and pressured into doing so in town. I will sit down at home, and review different possibilities before making a decision.
I do appreciate the need for increasing awareness to various causes. However, this can be done without the annoying and energetic botherings on the street. It is fair enough to set up a stand, let interested people stop by for information. The other people - me! - should be left in peace!
Weeeird...I was just thinking about this exact same thing yesterday.
A friend of mine is a salesperson and he was unhappy about having to manipulate people into buying things they dont want. I personally think its cool if you believe in your product. Also, sometimes people want to have someone "help" them decide on their purchase and if they feel like they have bought a good product at the end of it then you have provided value as a salesperson.
I found the tone of this article quite patronising and was disappointed. Sure there are some sales people who see it as an art and don't have a problem with the hard sell etc, but most people are doing a job they hate because they have no options or are trying to get themselves through college etc.
and yes, maybe we could limit out awakening people's conciousnesses to those who actively seek that out, not everyone in the street we think we can mess with becuase they have a ♥♥♥♥♥♥ job and are lower status than us.
We all make choices in life. There is no salesperson on this planet being forced to con people into buying overpriced garbage. It is a choice they make. And most reasons people give forth as to why they "have" to do a certain job are nothing more than excuses.
We all have a choice.
Although parts of this blog were mildly humorous, I found it a little mean-spirited in places. Even the title is an insult disguised as a joke.
Ironically, Steve, you just proved that 'Even Bloggers Are Human.'
I was in sales for years, and it's not an easy living unless you like rejection, insults and lies. But in the end, Sales is what forced me to begin Personal Development. PD gave me the tools to better cope with the daily abuse and disappointments.
There's an old adage in sales - "Nothing happens until somebody sells something."
My country, the USA, was founded on capitalism, and I'm proud of being part of that. Salesmen provide jobs for accountants, managers, shippers, designers, janitors, etc. by pushing commerce forward.
And whether you accept it or not, whatever you do, you're in sales.
If Steve didn't offer a product (his blog), he wouldn't be able to place Google ads and ask for donations, and we wouldn't be here discussing this. So Steve is actually in sales.
Granted, his approach is subtler than timeshare salesmen. But Google Ads and Donation requests may be equally offensive to some people.
I will view this blog entry as a John Kerry-style "joke that was botched." And poorly conceived.
The post was another excellent one I thought, as a sale person myself I can relate to what they do and the shell does help when people just ignore you or abuse you. Truth is I have no wish to be a sales person for the rest of my life and I think Steve/Erin's idea of using this tactic to show people the path of higher conciousness is great. Forcing them up at gunpoint isnt right, but they should at least know that the path exists.
Just my 2 cents
Wow, Steve gives us the ability to comment on his posts and suddenly everyone is a critic. The article was funny and in the same vein as any other consciousness raising post. Reminds me of Bear Bombing, one of my all time favorites.
And thanks for alerting me to the Hugging video, Steve! As I watched the video, I thought, "This is how we can begin to pull the world back together, we've become such a huge tribe, but here is unity." So awesome!
I encourage everyone to see the News Spot, and definitely the followup video!
Thanks again! :)
I am in sales myself. I sell Life Insurance. The saying goes, "there's no man with endurance like the man who sells insurance." I face huge amounts of rejection daily. If the poster, Michelle, thought people were invasive when approaching her about causes and products, you can imagine how some people feel when I approach them about life insurance.
A few people above talked about salespeople who shove their product down everyone's throat that they can. Yes, there are people in sales like that. They are the ones who should, and probably will, wash out at some point. A professional sales person's job is not to force their product on everyone. It is to find people who need what they are selling, and sell it to them.
It's akin to having a square peg. You have to find the right hole to fit that peg into. But most people who get into sales don't get taught that basic idea. The tough part is finding the right shaped hole. Finding prospects who need what you are selling. Sales seems impossible to many, because they don't have the skill, or maybe the patience, to approach people in an amiable manner, discover their needs, and fulfill them if they are able.
Anyone who does not feel good about what they're doing should find something else to do. If a person doesn't feel comfortable selling whatever it is they're selling, sell something else. If they've tried selling a lot of different things, and still isn't comfortable, get out of sales!
My first sales job was selling brand new vehicles. I hated it. I felt like I was lamphooning people into putting themselves under burdgeoning mountains of debt. I knew in my heart that I was doing harm to people. Even people who barely even needed convincing to purchase. I was doing them harm by selling a depreciating asset that would eat away at their financial stability.
So I stopped selling cars. For the record, I wouldn't sell timeshares, either.
Shortly after that, I found my calling in Life Insurance.
I am proud to be in sales. I am doubly proud to be selling life insurance. I am an empathetic, catalytic agent of positive change. I would choose no other profession. What I do truly helps people. At a point in people's lives when most can only offer condolences, I bring peace of mind. That's what it's all about for me. Helping people. Impacting their lives in a positive way.
You have a great attitude, Eggzachary. You are the kind of salesperson the world needs.
I've referred people to Steve's blog. I've suggested books. But most people who get drawn to sales are ones who listened to shysters tell them it's easy money. That they practically don't have to work at all. Bologna! Sales is the most trying profession most people could ever take on. It allows for no delusions about who you are, and how successful you are in your endeavors.
Working on straight commission is, IMHO, the most humbling, honest way to work. Everyone should work on commissions. Pretty much everyone does. Try not pulling your weight at an hourly or salary position and see how long you last. But if everyone knew they worked on commission, and were going to be paid in accordance with the effectiveness of their work, I feel more people would be better workers.
I agree....excellent post Eggz!!
I don't think Steve's post had a bad tone at all. It just seems many people are taking it far too literally and perhaps missing the point.
Let me just jump in here with a little clarification about what we did that I don't think Steve had time to mention (he wrote that blog post much faster than usual).
First of all, these time share salespeople position themselves at the top of the escalators so you can't avoid them. We run into them often. We began noticing how anxious these people seemed, like they had a quota to fill, they actually exuded fear. Perhaps it was fear of rejection, but my intuition told me they were more afraid of their bosses than the people they were approaching.
We have no problem with people in sales who loves their sales job. Passionate people are happy people. What we saw in these particular people, however, were people who were doing something they didn't love. They exuded fear, not excitement. They exuded panic, not enthusiasm. They did not personally care about the product they were selling and did not personally believe it was a worthwhile product to have.
We felt great compassion for them. In an attempt to reach their souls we decided to engage them in a manner they weren't expecting. When the woman asked me if I wanted free show tickets and I replied that I was actually looking for time shares, she got really excited. But I told her I was just kidding, that I knew she was selling timeshares and just wanted to connect with her for a moment. She laughed and her real self came through for a moment. I stopped to talk with her and she confided that she hated her job and wished she could be doing something else. She made sure the other salespeople couldn't hear when she said that. I replied, "Anything is possible. Figure out what you really want to be doing and do it." She smiled wryly and said, "Yeah, someday!" When I left her I could see she was lost in thought and she had a smile on her face.
Steve's encounter was a little different, as the woman he spoke to didn't "wake up" when he "shook" her. What he said to her didn't seem to register at all.
We don't make a habit of going around bothering people or trying to make them feel bad about themselves or their line of work. But when we look at people we see their souls, not their jobs. And if they seem unhappy then we do try to help. That's our nature. If you were having a nightmare, wouldn't you want someone to wake you up? Even if it meant a little shaking up?
Anyway, my point was, if people are happy in their jobs we don't care if they're digging a ditch or running a country. But when we see people in the grip of a nightmare life that they don't even want for themselves, yeah, we're going to try to wake them up.
Hostile: Howdy, folks! How long will you be in town for? Would you like some free show tickets?
Steve: Would you like a free hug?
Makes me want to drive down to the Strip right now. Maybe Erin can take a video. :)
I think people who are concious, who have woke up, should take it upon themselves to lay the seeds of conciousness in those around them. It is a great thing you and Steve are doing. I wish you well in your endeavors.
Saving Time With Your Hostiles
“You don’t really want to be spending your life selling timeshares, do you? You don’t seem very happy about your work. Is this really what you want to be doing with your life?”
None of this either/or stuff... AND solutions all the way. Talk about efficiency! (Hmmm, for some reason this reminds me of your Saving Time With Your Microwave blog post.) You could make the sign out of A4 paper so you can fold it up and keep it your pocket, then whip it out on unsuspecting hostiles. Of course, after double-whammy barrage of awareness, they'll probably need a hug. ;)
Additionally, if anyone wanted more information about the Free Hugs campaign or just wanted to discuss it, there's a Free Hugs thread over in the Character & Contribution board. I'll also take this opportunity to shamelessly plug a post I made in there with way too much formatting and information.
Give them a business card with a link to your sight AND a hug.
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