My first month working in kiosks sales was a complete disaster.
I struggled for 11 hours a day in the mall with no idea what I was doing.
Despite having a management team that was made up of killer salespeople, I felt like I had no direction.
I had a full 100 page manual full of sales pitches, motivational concepts, and selling strategies. Yet still I floundered.
I would have done anything for one good customer.
It wasn’t until years later that I realized the wisdom of some of the things I was taught while working for that company.
When you’re a new salesperson, you don’t really understand what people are telling you.
When you’re new at anything, it’s hard to understand the nuance of what experienced people try to teach you.
Now that I think about it, it’s kind of like when you’re a kid and your parents tell you something. You wave them off and say yeah yeah, ok pops whatever.
And then twenty years later you find yourself saying the same thing to your own kids.
And THEN you remember that they used to tell you, You’ll see! When you’re an adult you’ll tell the same thing to YOUR children!
One good customer changed my day
I remember a Power Phrase one of the managers told me during an especially challenging day at the mall:
“One good customer can change your whole day!”
I don’t remember the specifics of the situation, but I was probably having a bad day.
My manager told me the above Power Phrase and I don’t think I paid it much mind.
Working there was very hard for me, and when you’re in a bad mood, logical bits of advice like that don’t really penetrate too deep into your psyche.
It wasn’t until a year later when I moved to Houston that I realized this was actually true.
Two years into my kiosk sales career at this point, I had opened a few skin care kiosks with an old boss of mine.
Selling cosmetics is a much more challenging sale than hair products.
With cosmetics, you need to have basic knowledge of things like exfoliating, moisturizing, and cell regeneration.
(Or so I thought.)
In reality, you just need to find easy customers and shove as many products down their throat as you can.
Baybrook, the mall we were working in, was known to be somewhat burned. Houston in general is pretty burned.
There is a TON of money there – but there are also a ton of Israeli kiosks there.
One good customer changed my year
On this particular day, I was not doing so well.
By the mid afternoon, I had only made a few sales and it was looking it was going to be “one of those days.”
- I was grumpy.
- I hated my life.
- I was fantasizing about changing careers.
A middle-aged guy walked by and I tried to stop him. He walked right past me, but as he did so he turned over his shoulder, made a funny comment, and smiled at me.
I remember laughing at whatever he said.
- That brief moment re-energized me and gave me a little more pep in my step.
- That additional boost of positive vibes carried over to the next few customers I stopped, one of whom actually bought something.
- The boost I received from making the sale gave me a bigger boost which I then applied to the next few customers.
- Then another one bought. And another.
And before you know it, I finished the day on a good number.
I thought of the old Power Phrase:
“One good customer can change your whole day!”
It was actually true.
The offhand positive comment and smile from the middle-aged guy was all it took to turn my day around. It let to a cascade of positive emotions that translated into good vibes and sales.
Without that one offhand positive comment, I wouldn’t have made the sales.
And it’s the sales that really boost your mood.
Fun interactions with customers are great. But if you finish the day on a bad number, then they’re not so great.
It’s the sales – the undeniable results – that make you feel like you’re spending your time wisely.
One good customer changed my career
Fast forward nearly a decade and I’m in Fashion Show mall in Las Vegas.
My first week and a half working here were amazing.
Despite the fake coronavirus pandemic, I managed to average around $800-$900 a day in sales.
But two bad days in a row (on the weekend no less), managed to crush my spirit and make me consider leaving altogether.
That’s the challenge with sales jobs: a few bad days in a row can make you question all the time and effort you’ve put into mastering your craft.
I constantly need to remind myself that the key to selling is to focus on your own effort and understand that sometimes customers won’t buy for reasons beyond your control.
After these two bad days, I went to work again – this time working with the girlfriend of the owner of the company.
Very experienced and professional, she was fun to work with.
But working with fun people will only carry you so far when you aren’t selling.
- And when you’re not selling, you’re not in the mood to sell.
- And when you’re not in the mood to sell, you’re not gonna sell.
This day also happened to be my sixth day in a row working. I was tired. I was wrung out like a damp towel and looking forward to my day off.
To make matters worse, the girl I was working with was well-rested and ready to tear the meat from the bone.
She made several sales in the first few hours, proving that there was nothing wrong with the mall.
If I didn’t sell, it wasn’t because of COVID19 – it was because of me.
I managed to push through the day, activating habits that had long since been ingrained in me:
- stop customers
- demo the products
- close sales
- offer deals
I’d be lying if I said it was easy.
One good customer changed my life
Despite the fact that I was exhausted (funny how it’s easy to be exhausted when you don’t want to do something!) and didn’t want to be there, I still made sales.
- Each sale I made boosted my mood.
- Each sale made me feel slightly better.
- Each sale gave me an additional hit of endorphins
- Each sale gave me more and more energy.
By the end of the day I had reached a satisfying number. I was renewed with energy and felt on top of the world.
If I hadn’t made that first sale to the first customer of the day, then I wouldn’t have changed my mood.
But each good customer, each sale, made it easier and easier to make more sales.
Too often we think of sales in terms of days, weeks or months.
But in reality our sales career is one long single moment. A day or month means nothing over the span of an entire career.
We have to learn to extend our timelines as salespeople and execute habits that we know are effective.
Finally, yesterday I was working with another top salesperson in the company.
This girl is fearless – an excellent salesman. Even better than me.
But yesterday she was not herself. She would not stop complaining.
Normally when a customer doesn’t buy, we’re able to shrug it off and move onto the next one.
Yesterday she wasn’t having any of it. She must have taken a dozen cigarette breaks, where normally she only takes 3-4.
At one point in the early afternoon she had gotten so bad that I had to use a Power Phrase that I only pull out in extreme situations:
“No negative talk at the kiosk.”
She’s an experienced salesperson, so as soon as I said this, she tightened up her discipline.
Well, maybe I had to do some additional convincing. But eventually she did.
Anyway, as the day wore on, she continued to struggle.
But with only two hours left in the day, she stopped a pair of middle aged white women (we call them “ma’ams” or “memot”) – our ideal customer.
Generally speaking, middle aged white women with money buy easily and are easy to upsell.
So it was no surprise when my coworker sold a straightener to them for the sticker price: $350.
As she was doing the pitch, the customer said, “I’ll buy it right now if you finish doing my hair.”
Boom, just like that $350.
Ten minutes later, she had sold to her friend for another $200.
Do you think she was still in a bad mood after that?
Spoiler alert: she wasn’t.
One good customer is all it takes to turn it all around
The rest of the day, she was in a great mood – smiling, happy, cracking jokes.
All it took was a single good customer to turn it all around.
As salespeople, we constantly fall prey to the misconception that we will make sales at a consistent rate throughout the day, week, month or year.
If we make some sales in the morning, we expect to make sales at the same rate throughout the day.
If we don’t make any sales in the morning, then we expect the day to be a failure and that we wont’ make any sales.
But in reality, the amount of time it takes for a quality customer to come into your sphere of influence and agree to make a purchase is comparatively small.
Out of 8 hours of work, my coworker had only spent 30 minutes with her nearly $600 sale. And that’s a relatively LONG time.
But the amount of time it took for those two customers to pass by the kiosk was only a few seconds.
Had she not had the presence of mind (and discipline) to try to stop them as they walked by, then she wouldn’t have been able to reap the benefits of making the sales that she did.
But since she did, her entire day was completely turned around.
It went from a bad day to a good day in a half hour.
She went from a bad mood to a good mood in ten minutes.
Imagine what happens if we extrapolate this to a week or a month.
Find a few good customers a day and your entire week is amazing. Do that week after week and you have a nice salary for the month.
Do that month after month and before you know it, you’re able to invest that money into ventures that will compound your profits.
But it all starts with a single good customer.
“One good customer can change your whole day.”
- And one good day can change your week.
- One good week can change your month.
- One good month can change your year.
- One good year can change your career.
- And a good career can change your life.
It all starts with a single customer.