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Sales Talk Part 1: What's Really Being Said in Everyone's Head

By Otto Papasadero

As I reflect back over my many years in the retail industry, it becomes very apparent to me that the most important factor in determining success for a retail business is effective selling techniques put into action. For most of us, selling is neither easy nor natural. It takes constant training, practice and reflection. Professional salespeople should recognize their roles in the sales process and understand that they are the ones who usually determine whether or not a sale is made. We will delve into that concept in this first of a series of articles in future E-newsletters describing the entire sales process.

Notice that I have simply identified this series of articles as, “Sales Talk.” This discussion is presented to include professional salespeople, as well as to focus specially on training the trainer. As I have already mentioned, developing effective sales techniques is not a one-time proposition. The thoughts and suggestions that I am presenting are the result of my experience in retailing spanning several decades and my past involvement as a store owner, sales manager and sales trainer. The sales performance results have markedly improved and a great deal of positive feedback has been received from the sales associates at retailers where the Sales Talk approach has been implemented.

The essence of the Sales Talk approach deals with enhancing or changing the mindset of the professional sales associate. I have found that what I will suggest is most effective in a business environment where the majority or all of the sales associates’ compensation is derived from a commission on individual sales production.

The Sales Talk approach is designed not only to energize your sales associates, but to also remind them of the basics required to interact with the customer and close the sale. I believe it can make a difference for the sales associate, the retailer and the customer. At this point, I should mention that I am referring to Sales Talk as opposed to sales training. The reason for this is that I have found that most salespeople don’t like to be trained, but they do enjoy conversation, and in this case, a two-way and reflective conversation.

Therefore, I suggest that sales associates and trainer/managers meet together and discuss the materials presented in this and subsequent articles. The articles also will contain the basics of selling that many of you should recognize from your past studies of retail selling.


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RRetailers, Servicers, Suppliers: A Call for Industry Participation

For more than 75 years, the North American Retail Dealers Association has been the voice of independent appliance, electronics, bedding and furniture retailers. Through education, representation and a host of benefits, NARDA has worked diligently for all retailers.

Here’s how you can help both the industry and your own enterprise: NARDA is now moving forward into new areas and seeks volunteers that can give an hour or less each month to help guide the association. Please indicate your interest and you will be contacted and given more information.

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NARDA also is asking you to identify the areas in which it can assist you and your business. Whether it is legislation, education, legal services, publications, repair service or cloud-based services, please indicate which issues are most important to you. The very best suggestions will receive a $100 gift card.

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North American Retail Dealers Association
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