Author Archives: Crystal O'Hara

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Alas, as is technological tradition, it was soon outdated and dumped for something that could better entertain me.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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