Carol Brady Shops At My Store.

Oct 19 21:00 2004 Patrick Lumbroso Print This Article

You've probably heard it said hundreds of times. "That person is a born ... They have the ... ... outsell everyone else." Jonathan owns a computer hardware store that turns over

You've probably heard it said hundreds of times. "That person is a born salesman. They have the knack.They continuously outsell everyone else."

Jonathan owns a computer hardware store that turns over more than $10 million a year in sales. But Jonathan is worried. Business is good,Guest Posting but he has one major problem. Two of his team of ten salespeople, Paul and Richie, account for close to 80 percent of his business's total sales.

The other eight scratch around for 'crumbs' and are continuously being replaced. Jonathan is worried that if he were to lose his two best sales people, it would place huge pressure on his business.

"So what's their (Jonathan's top salespeople's) secret?" , I ask. "I don't know. They have a way with customers. They always know the right thing to say in order to make a sale. I guess you could say that they're just born salesmen..", replies Jonathan.

As far as I'm aware, scientists are yet to discover the genetic code for "born salespeople". In other words, great sales people are made, not born. Whilst some individuals appear to be born with great sales talent, such talent is more likely the result of sales development, rather than genetics.

Success leaves clues. In just about any organisation that you visit, you will find outstanding salespeople continuously using sales systems and procedures that enable them to ride at the top of the sales pack.

I explain to Jonathan that if we are to massively increase the sales performance of each team member, we need to be able to uncover those systems and patterns of successful sales behavior amongst his best salespeople, and then to systematize such behavior amongst all sales staff.

That way, not only will Jonathan will be able to improve overall sales performance amongst all team members, he will also be creating a business that is systems dependent, rather than people dependent.

Jonathan and I spend a full day observing and analyzing the activities of Jonathan's sales "stars" and sales "underperformers". As predicted, there were definite patterns and systems employed by the star performers that the others failed to implement.

Interestingly enough, all of Jonathan's sales people had similar levels of understanding in relation to the various computer products and product features, yet only the two star sales team members (Paul and Richie) had any form of marketing or sales strategy.

To begin with, Paul and Richie explained to me that they had both done some basic research as to which groups of consumers made up the store's most common customers.

Paul explained, "We've got a simple system. In essence, this store has basically three types of buyers: Computer nerds, small business owners and a group fondly known as the "Carol Bradys" .

Each of the three groups required different approaches when it came to selling them computers. A solid understanding as to the unique needs, concerns, and desires of each customer group is essential. By doing so, both were able to understand in intimate detail what motivates each customer when it comes to making a purchase decision.

For example, Carol Brady's are essentially mothers that come into the store wanting to buy computers for their children that are at school. Paul explained that there was no point in discussing the technical features of each computer with these women. "It just confuses them; makes them feel anxious and ultimately, frightens them away".

"Most Carol's have little or no understanding of computer jargon and they basically are only interested in two things:

Given that the family budget is extremely tight, will I be able to afford to buy this computer?

If I buy this computer for my little boy Johnny, will it make him smart enough to pass all of his exams and get into university?".
"So long as we can show them how they can afford the computer on a family budget as well as being able tell them a few "success" stories of how other people's children used these computers to become doctors and lawyers etc, most Carol's will buy.

The computer nerds on the other hand don't care so much about price as do the Carol's . They want features. They want speed, cutting edge technologies, the latest and best. that's what they want, that's what we give them. Business owners want reliability and to a lesser degree, technological longevity. Price is important, but not as much as important as knowing that your computers are going to be reliable.

When I asked Paul and Richie what made them so much more successful than all of the other sales people combined, Paul and Richie were unanimous. "We have the best systems. The other guys have none. That's' the difference".

And you thought it was great breeding!

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Patrick Lumbroso
Patrick Lumbroso

For over seventeen years, Patrick Lumbroso has worked with, and advised businesses both large and small throughout the world. During this time, he has developed a reputation as being an "Enterprise Alchemist" with many clients relying upon him for guidance, inspiration, and ultimately… results. He can be contacted at or you can visit his website,

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