All That Glitters Is Not Gold

By 15 February, 2015 No Comments

“All that glitters is not gold” or “Never judge a book by its cover”. Both are very relevant proverbs when it comes to selling a product or a service.

Do you ever judge potential customers on their appearance? Have you ever devoted more time speaking to someone well dressed thinking they might be your next big sale? Or have you failed to take someone seriously because they’re notwell dressed?

Unfortunately this happens all the time. You could be guilty of it – perhaps you’ve even been a victim.

Sounds very shallow I know, and something I am conscious of avoiding while running my cleaning supply business.

It’s true that people with money and the ability to make big financial decisions will not always look the part. On a recent cruise holiday, I shared a table with complete strangers. Our conversation turned to friends who had cash to buy expensive cars. What I heard inspired me to write this post.

My dinner companions spoke of how their friends walked into car dealerships as inconspicuous customers, dressing down in their comfy casuals and thongs. They said the sales people in one particular showroom overlooked them to serve others who arrived after them but were notably better dressed. Some did not even get a simple hello. That same day, the friends bought luxury cars from other dealerships. One couple actually made a call to the dealership that missed out, letting them know how their error in judgment lost them the sale.

I’ve been in business long enough to know not to judge a person by their appearance – to “never judge a book by its cover”. Here are some of my tips.

1) Treat every person equally, no matter how they appear. Not everyone feels the need to suit up when shopping. Without realising it, you could be looking at your next biggest customer.

2) Many successful people come from humble beginnings. Offer help and advice to a start-up company. There’s nothing more satisfying than watching them grow, knowing you were there when others weren’t willing to help.

3) Don’t underestimate the power of word-of-mouth. You can never be sure whom the person you are talking to may know. I can say that my cleaning supply business has grown thanks to referrals.

4) Offer your knowledge. Never dismiss a person who you feel may be wasting your time with too many questions. Always take the time – your most important customer is the one you have right now. I know with what I do, there are always going to be questions.

Have your best clients/customers been the most unsuspecting? Have the most obvious left you empty-handed? Please feel free to comment. I would love to hear your story.