By the time we hit the age of 18, we have years of buying decisions behind us and generally feel like we’re too smart to be “sold” anything. Instead, we’re looking to be inspired to buy. Inspiring is the new selling. If you’re in sales or business development, one of the easiest ways to inspire customers is to show enthusiasm for your product. Arguably, there is nothing more contagious than enthusiasm, at least nothing that is still good for you. Yet, based on my research with women consumers, this “free” resource is often under-leveraged.
No doubt you’ve experienced it yourself: instead of being met with enthusiasm as a customer, you end up dealing with someone who shows little interest in helping you or provides zero follow up, even when you are prepared to spend money. Apathy is a silent sales killer. When we talk to women about less-than-inspiring buying experiences, it’s often summed up this way: I guess they didn’t need my money.
In a sales context, enthusiasm means demonstrating interest, focus and commitment to helping your customer. It means showing expertise and confidence in the product you’re selling and the company you represent. You don’t need to be an extravert to demonstrate enthusiasm and inspire others. In fact, in certain industries, an outward display of cheerleader-like enthusiasm would be inappropriate. The simple act of conveying genuine interest in solving your customer’s problem is a powerful way to inspire someone to work with you.
When we ask women to describe their best experiences working with a sales professional, they tend to describe it along these lines: “That person wasn’t trying to sell me; they were trying to help me.” This reinforces what we all know deep down: no matter what product or service we’re selling, what we’re really selling is help.
Though we can never control the actions of our customers, what we can control is our attitude toward every sales interaction. Even on days when you’re not feeling it, you can try to “summon” enthusiasm by being truly in the moment and focused on finding a solution for your customer. If you take a moment to reflect on the best experiences you’ve ever had with customers, and how great you felt afterward, chances are, you inspired them and mutual enthusiasm played a part.