Selling Ice to Eskimos

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Do you know what it takes to sell ice to Eskimos? First of all, let me tell you what it doesn't take.
It doesn't take weekly deliveries of colorful ink pens to their icy hut.
It doesn't take a meeting with the Vice President in charge of making ice to explain the logistics of ice making to the Eskimos.
It doesn't take an MBA, or an MA, or a BA or even BS.
It doesn't take the "Super Duper One of A Kind Sales Special This Week Only".
It DOES take establishing a need for the ice.
Plain & simple.
As Jeffrey Gitomer says, people hate to be sold but they love to buy.
If they need something they will buy it.
But how do you establish their need? Discovery is the first and most important component to sales.
And it requires the least amount of education & the most common sense.
Rule #1 (which you'll note is also a top rule in my Customer Service Blog) is to remember God gave you 2 ears & 1 mouth for a reason.
Divide your sales call into thirds.
Use your left ear 1/3.
Your right ear 1/3.
And you'll notice that only leaves 1/3 for your mouth.
That's right.
The average sales person spends 80% of the time talking.
The average sales person will never sell ice to Eskimos.
Ask them what their needs are & shut up while they tell you.
It makes your job dramatically easier if you use THEIR words and THEIR needs to make the sale.
Rule #2 is to probe their need like a 9 year old boy picking at a scab.
Help them feel their pain.
Sales is about meeting an unmet need.
The more critical and painful the need, the more likely the sale.
The average sales person tries to make their customer feel comfortable- because that makes them feel more comfortable.
The average sales person can't sell ice to Eskimos.
You're not there to be their friend.
You're a skilled surgeon there to explore their needs, and fulfill them thereby saving their life.
That is way better than being their pen pal- although it would be easy for them with all those useless pens you drop at the hut d'Eskimo.
Rule #3 (you'll like this part, it's the 1/3 where you get to use your mouth) is where you educate them about how you can meet their need.
This is NOT a data dump of every feature & benefit of the wonders of ice.
It is connected ONLY to the needs THEY identified or you clarified during your probe.
And it is both the features AND the benefits.
The feature is what your product does- in this case one feature is it makes stuff colder.
The benefit is how it will meet Mr.
Eskimo's unmet need.
Now I don't endorse him using it to freeze baby seals, in fact would just as soon freeze Mr.
Eskimo at that point.
But if Mr.
Eskimo is a big fan of Coca Cola and likes that clinking noise in the glass & prefers to have the purified water version not the version chipped out of the snow where the reindeer trod, THAT is the benefit to him.
Wasn't that easy? 3 simple steps and you, too, will have Eskimos buying your ice!
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