How does creativity contribute to sales success? How do you become creative in selling? Well, lets learn from these three sellers.
Creativity in sales by reframing
The owner of the construction was going into depression. He had miscalculated the cost of the construction and now was stuck with several units none of which were finished. Mercifully, on referral, along came Agnes, an unassuming salesperson par excellence. She listened to the owner’s plight and assured him all would be well. He didn’t believe her much until suddenly potential clients started trooping into the construction site. And shortly thereafter a unit was sold, then another. “How are you doing this Agnes? How are you managing to sell these units?”, the pleasantly surprised owner asked.
“Easy”, she responded. “I’m selling them as bespoke units, and inviting those interested in finishing them to their taste, to pay us and we will do it for, and with them.” And that is how, 22 would-have-been shells of houses, ended up being a beautifully finished owner-occupied housing estate. What changed? Agnes reframed the problem seeing it as an opportunity. She got creative, innovative. She opened a Facebook page for marketing purposes, and even used the sophisticated word ‘bespoke’ instead of the more common synonym, ‘customized’. And the rest, as they say, was history. Just as with the owner, I was floored by the simplicity of Agnes’ creativity in sales that turned out so effective.
Become innovative by taking risks
Then there was the start-up delivery company that wanted to add a branded bookmark with every delivery made. The bookmark was to promote the start-up. The very first job they got, they were so broke they couldn’t afford to buy the 100 bookmarks to insert in every deliveries.
Panic set in. That was until a bright spark came up with a simple but effective innovative idea. “Let us deliver these 100 without the bookmark. Customers will complain, yes. So, once we get paid we will buy bookmarks and deliver them to the aggrieved customers, as we deliver the next 100. This way we will get an opportunity to follow up on the sale and engage the customer again as we apologize.” In fact, learning from this episode, I’m told sometimes they would deliberately skip a bookmark for prospects they wanted an excuse to follow-up on. What was thought to have been a curse turned out to be a blessing. Amazing how creativity contributes t sales success. Creativity in sales is truly a secret weapon.
Why creativity is important in selling
Knowing they couldn’t compete on account of their size, this car hire firm with only 7 cars to their name , became creative. Instead of numbering them 1 to 7, they did so 1, 17, 33, 61 and 77. When you saw any of the two what would you assume? That all other numbers in between were taken up by other vehicles. So if you saw 1 then 33 you’d be hard-pressed to be convinced that the firm did not own at least 30 cars. True? And that is how six months in they were able to secure a contract from a prospect who was impressed by their fleet of vehicles.
Creativity is not taught. It is learnt. By taking risks, learning from scenarios like these ones and asking for insights from those you admire, you’d be surprised just how much more you can sell by being creative.
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