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This phrase falls in line with a multitude of sayings people have created to portray a great salesperson. I understand this is considered a form of flattery and is meant to say that a person has mastered the art of persuasion, but have you ever considered that this may be a negative statement about a salesperson?

Wiktionary describes “Sell ice to Eskimos” as (idiomatic), To persuade people to go against their best interests or to accept something unnecessary or preposterous.
Example: “He’s such a smooth talker, he could sell ice to Eskimos.”

If you have super powers of persuasion and can take someone’s money leaving them with buyer’s remorse, is this a win-win? What are your chances of a continued relationship with this customer?

A relationship sales process executed correctly can uncover wants and needs that the prospect did not know they had. This process includes building trust and rapport, listening intently and asking good questions.

Selling should be a virtue and this comes with a proper motive. Ask yourself if your product or service is providing value for your customer.

If you see your customer in a restaurant this weekend will you run the other way or will you greet them with a smile knowing you did the best you could to serve them well? I hope the latter.

One more thing, let’s stop picking on the Eskimos.

Have a great week!

Pierce

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Group Leader
Comment by Pierce Marrs on July 4, 2013 at 9:52am

Jerry,

Thank you so much. That insight will make you successful in so many ways. Thanks again for the feedback and encouragement.

Pierce

P.S. - HAHA! Totally understand!

Comment by Jerry Stumpf on July 4, 2013 at 9:46am

Wow, Thought I was checking as I went?  The sentence should read "here" not hers and "goods" not gods???

Thanks for your understanding!

Jerry 

Comment by Jerry Stumpf on July 4, 2013 at 9:44am

Pierce,

The thought about your customer in a restaurant resonates hers. For many years I have looked at my "customers" as friends I exchange gods and services with. They are friends first and customer next.

Recently my life changed as the business we built over 19 years was sold and I went to work for the new company. It has become curious as I reflect on the new sales which are each on a larger scale per sale. You come to mind often as  I think of how would Pierce approach this. The paragraph above "A relationship sales process executed correctly can uncover wants and needs that the prospect did not know they had. This process includes building trust and rapport, listening intently and asking good questions." is key to setting the stage for new horizons.  It is fascinating to see how effective a few key improvements ca make.

Thank you for your unique and pleasant approach to people.

Every minute, life gets better -- Jerry 


Group Leader
Comment by Pierce Marrs on December 10, 2011 at 1:43pm

Melissa, I believe we should have humility and a servant attitude. Our results will get us where we need to go. We do not need to tell people. Thanks for your comments!

Comment by Melissa Collins on December 10, 2011 at 1:19pm

Every time I hear the comment, "I can sell ice to an eskimo" I can't help but cringe. MY experience has been that every time someone tells me this, they fail miserably at their business because they can't be coached and are not teachable. They already esteem themselves very high. When I have someone join my organization with the mindset that they have a lot to learn, they do very very well. Shockingly well even at times. There is always something more to learn about your business and your products. I think you are correct when you say we must focus on developing a rapport with your customers, not just being a slick salesman.

Comment by Cindy Hirch on July 13, 2011 at 10:58am

I firmly believe that selling ourselves most definitely builds from a foundation of listening, building trust and allowing others to see the authentic us (hopefully the real us is worth getting to know!) It's a give-take relationship and should be about the value we can add to someone else. We get so much more when we allow them to be center stage. It fosters great relationships, and allows the other person to see we truly are interested in their needs.

Great blog Pierce! I never thought of the concept of "Selling Ice to Eskimos" the way you presented it.

Comment by Nathan Logsdon on July 12, 2011 at 2:37pm

Pierce,

 

Great Blog!  The premiss of your blog is right on target with what I think of when I think of a good sales person. I love to work with people that my friends recommend.  These are the jewels of connection/networking that build a guerilla marketing platform that can take a committed sales person to the top.  Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

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