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Wednesday, March 11, 2015

What Is The Hardest And The Easiest Thing To Sell? Sales Workshop #1

A recent sales training class revealed that the hardest thing to sell is money. There have been dozens of financial institutions in recent years that have tried and are still trying to make lots of money selling loans with high interest rates. But business owners are skeptical about being offered money and rightly so, because a struggling business adding a new debt to its problems might not be the smartest move.

On the other hand, it has been speculated that the easiest thing to sell is food. There are literally millions of businesses offering food products as their main sales item and unless the business is off the beaten path, it usually doesn't even have to advertise much. Especially if the food is any good, the business will be booming in no time due to word of mouth. People have to eat.

But the question arises as to why money is so hard to sell and food is so easy to sell. The answer revolves around one word: trust. When someone offers you money, its the natural tendency to wonder what they are up to. Money peddlers usually don't take the time to earn the average business owner's trust and so its not likely that they will take the bait unless a fool proof sales pitch and strategy is employed.

But when people offer you food, the natural tendency is to connect that offer with someone in your past who you trusted, like your mother or grandmother and so you immediately trust them without question. Sharing food is a naturally neighborly thing to do, one that is associated with bonding. What could possibly go wrong? It's food after all.

Years ago, an independent research company discovered that it is literally impossible to stay mad at someone that you share a meal with. The sharing and eating of food is an intimate activity. Put that together with the fact that people get hungry at least three times a day and then all of a sudden you are willing and ready not only to accept offers of food, now you are willing to pay for it.

So, the lesson here for salespeople is that no matter what you are selling, you must earn the trust of your potential customer. It doesn't matter if you are selling the absolutely best product in the world. It doesn't matter if the most famous celebrity endorses it. If you don't earn the trust of your customer, you are not likely to sell anything to them. People only buy from you because they trust you. End of story.

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