Canada Day was July 1. For any of you who are not Canadian, did you even know this?
For bonus points, do you know what Canada Day signifies? A mighty “eh” if you do. If not, go ahead and Google it after you read this post.
If you live in Canada, you celebrated July 1 and likely had the day off (or Monday off). Congratulations Canada… You have every reason to be proud! Here’s the sad point: All of my Canadian friends know when each of our holidays are in the United States, but we here in the states tend to be clueless about Canada.
The role of the salesperson is to understand the needs and perspectives of the customer. I would call that Sales 101. The basics. If that is basic selling, then why do so many of us here in the United States not know the holidays of our biggest trading partner?
We must take the time to understand where our customers are coming from if we expect to be successful. Let me share with you one more key item about our trading partner to the south, Mexico. On Sunday, July 1, they voted on a new president. Again, did you know that?
You might ask what difference does it make in our business to know things about other countries if all or our business is with people in the United States? It makes a huge difference.
First off, this week we all have excellent talking points we can use with anyone we come in contact with who might have some sort of a connection with either of these two countries.
When you can make the connection with somebody regarding something personal to them, it’s amazing how much confidence they will have in you.
This past week I found myself in a discussion with a Mexican citizen who was in the United States on business. His eyes lit up when I asked him about the upcoming election. For 10 minutes we discussed the candidates and the impact on Mexico. For me the opportunity came because I was aware of the upcoming election and used it as a talking point. He came away from the conversation with a higher level of confidence in me.
Be informed. Be knowledgeable about the things that interest people to whom you are talking, and in the end, you’ll be able to sell them on you and your abilities. Who knows where things will go from there.
Copyright 2012, Mark Hunter “The Sales Hunter.” Sales Motivation Blog.
This reminds me of a lesson I learned while still going for my undergraduate degree. The professor had done a lot of business in China and had learned very quickly that a business card is very important to the Chinese. Even the way you give and receive a business card is important.
They typically will hold the business card by the corners with the name facing the person they are giving the card to. To be respectful you should grab the card by the corners as well and thank them.
I never thought I would have any need for that information until I started working with customers from overseas and it has come in handy many times, and most times to the potential customers delight.