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!