Because I spend my time with lots of salespeople out in the field, coaching and training them how to sell, my antennae never stop working when I am out and about shopping or buying products and services. I love to see the science and art of selling in action. I can spot a top notch sales person in an instance.
The Coffee Barista
One day, on my way to buy a new kitchen gadget, I came across a crowd gathering around a young lady with a beautiful coffee machine, talking about coffee pods. Apparently, the coffee pod is the freshest cup of coffee you are going to get from the designer coffee machine they were made for. The coffee pod is small. It’s clever and exclusive. You can only order these coffee pods on-line. Coffee pods were a whole new concept to me on this day. You could put your small pod into the machine and out pours a delicious fresh coffee with an aroma to send you into a sensory reverie.
My guess is this lady didn’t even know how gifted she was as a sales person. She was a natural and I guessed she had been product trained rather than taken a sales training course. But what she was doing worked quite beautifully in winning over her audience. She was the science and art of selling in action.
I watched her speak to the onlookers. I watched their faces as she used language, gestures and actions that crossed all the sensory barriers. She had us in in a sensory trance. She was so effective that you couldn’t but resist the notion of having one of these machines in your kitchen. She moved with grace and ease. She set the scene for us to want a coffee. She talked about the freshness of the roasted coffee. She made us the coffee with finesse and swiftness. We tasted the fresh coffee. She asked us how we liked it. She explored our love of coffee. She asked us again about our coffee-making experience at home. Answers varied from instant coffee, to perculators with filters to coffee pots on stoves. She asked us “was it as fresh as this?” She smiled, nodded and affirmed our experience.
She wrapped it all up by telling us how easy it was to get the coffee pods that were the freshest you could get straight to your kitchen. In essence, she created a luxury experience, right there and then that was almost irresistible. It was real and tangible and it made you really want to buy one of these coffee pod machines.
So where was the Science in Action?
The science is to be found in the steps taken in gathering interest from her audience, creating a sensory experience and then testing the buyer’s experience by asking for feedback on the experience. She created a want from a passing interest and turned that into a need through a sensory experience. She took the buyers all the way back home to their kitchen. She kept them inside the experience through great questions about our experience of the coffee, until we sufficiently locked into want to know more.
So where was the Art in Action?
The art was in her passion for the product. She spoke with enthusiasm. Her presentation was compelling. Her public speaking skills, of course, were elegant and refined. She explained in lovely simple ways how machine and pod worked. Her art was in the natural way she spoke, the language she used, how she paced the experience and built rapport with her audience. “How do you like the taste?” she asked. What a suggestion! Of course the smell is the most powerful scent of all, so the coffee created that experience that you would want in your kitchen every morning. She mirrored our coffee experience perfectly. The result, two coffee machine sold and customer for life. You can only buy the pods straight from the factory.
5 Sales Tips from a Coffee Pod Barista
- Activate as many of the senses around your product as you can; the images, sights, sounds and aromas; this increases your chances of closing the sale.
- Create an emotional bond between the buyer and what you offer by getting them to try it or imagine trying it. Every buying experience activates emotions. The sense of smell is the most powerful, hence the success of our coffee pod barista.
- Create the experience with the buyer and ask them to share it as a feedback exercise. This is a way of testing the level of desire for the product. If it’s not high enough, ask some more questions.
- Create a comparison scenario to create a contrast in the buyer’s mind between what they have and what could have.
- Work on your delivery skills and pay attention to the language you use. Is it enticing enough. Our coffee pod barista knew how to motivate her audience. Her communication skills and interpersonal skills were second to none. Work on yours.
I didn’t buy the coffee machine in the end. But I witnessed the science and art of selling in action. And the coffee was exceptional!
If you want to learn the science and art of selling,