Sell Your Smarts


I first discovered my passion for gadgets in 2004.  Back home in my small town after completing first year of university, I found a job at a cell phone store in the mall. I figured ‘Hey, I get along with other human beings quite well, why not try out sales?’

It’s harder than it looks! Apparently, reading a product brochure verbatim to a customer while they are standing in front of you wasn’t exactly a sales booster.  After a few unsuccessful and slightly stressful shifts, I discovered that knowing what the heck I was asking people to spend their hard earned cash on was going to be important. Right around here is where I learned about and fell in love with the awesome devices I was selling and began to love working in sales for that reason.

Of course now I had to get my own cell phone! Oh man, the Audiovox 8500 was it! A sleek little flip phone with changeable backlight colours.  I rocked that hardware.

Alas, as is technological tradition, it was soon outdated and dumped for something that could better entertain me.  My subsequent cellular relationships ended similarly, as I spent the next six years in wireless sales.  This obsession with having the coolest devices kept me at the top of my game, however.

One of the most important tools to have in any sales environment, to me, is knowledge. Know what you have and know what’s coming next.
Everybody “Googles” before they shop now. Why wouldn’t we? It’s harder to get roped into a spiffed product by an apathetic sales person when you already have an idea of what you’re buying, right? Or worse yet, you get to the store and the sales person knows less than your minuscule “googling” taught you…

I challenge anyone who has spent time in retail to say you’ve never experienced that horrific moment where your client was more informed about your product than you.  If you are not familiar with this situation, I applaud you.  It’s painful, it sucks, it’s embarrassing and you can flush all that confidence and rapport you’ve built with that smarty pants right down the porcelain throne.

Avoid this! Control your sale, try teaching your client something about the product. Show them why they came to see you instead of ordering it online while checking out the user reviews. Keep up to date with your industry news through newspapers, handheld apps or blogs.

If you haven’t yet, check out the online coverage of the Consumer Electronics Show (CES 2012) to learn about exciting new product launches and manufacturer’s grocery lists for this year.

What’s on your geeky wish list this year?

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Posted on January 13, 2012, in 'We Get Retail' Business Tips and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Very interesting. A few years ago I had a lady at a supplement store regurgitate, verbatim, an add I had read in Men’s Health on a protein that she was trying to push on me. I thought “I can read, but how good is it really?” and left. Nobody wants to buy something from a droid. Unless it was R2D2, I’d buy anything from him.

  2. Great read! MY 2012 “geeky wish list” will be more about my husband than myself, sadly.
    I had all good intentions of fostering his curiosity and the need to become more plugged in by giving him an iPad 2 for Christmas. Needless to say, I have created an iMonster.
    Wonder aloud if it’s going to rain tomorrow and he wipes out the handy unit and reads me the real-time weather report. Ask him if he knows how much I should sell my van for, again with the trusty resource he jumps on Kijiji to do some price comparisons. All of this is made even more rich if you can imagine 51 year old man wearing prescription safety glasses with little led lights on the sides of them, yes, lights, while tapping madly on his beloved device. But I digress.
    My geeky wish list is actually an entirely new category of gifts that I can give my husband. Not that I am complaining, because after I bought him the heated grips for the handle bars on his Harley, where do I go from there?
    After reading this post I have decided not to struggle with a list of items I know little about regarding his iPad, and possibly making myself vulnerable to a quota-hungry sales professional, I am going to give him a gift card…let the sales professional deal with my tech savvy husband.

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