This summer, I'm interning at a marketing company in Raleigh. My bosses and coworkers are all really cool—they are all really passionate about helping others to progress in the business and they have all worked the exact job I'm working now, so they can empathize with me.
The work isn't glamorous by any means, but I have been learning a good deal, both about myself and about other people in general. For example, there are a lot of kinda mean people. Granted, I know that they just want to shop without being approached by me about the deals we've got going on, but I'm just trying to do my job. Even more so, I'm actually trying to save the customers money! There are so many people who just put a hand to my face before I can get more than a "Hi, how are—" out of my mouth.
That's not a huge surprise, though. Anyone who's worked in customer service will certainly understand and be able to relate. One surprising thing I've found, though, is that in the sales world, practicing indifference is key.
My bosses tell us that people don't like salespeople. That's a given. What people do like, however, are people who are willing to inform or help them. I've been told to keep a "This is mine to give, not yours to take" type of mindset, and that people want what they can't have. Think about it: if someone nonchalantly informed you that you could be saving around $20 a month on your cable bill but wasn't desperately trying to get you to pull the switch, wouldn't you be much more inclined to do it?
People like making their own decisions. As a sales representative, I've got to learn how to control the conversation with my customer while also letting them decide what they would like to do. We don't operate on pushy, just on the facts. I simply inform my customers of what they're able to get, if and how it would be a good deal for them, and then I let them make the final call. It's a lot harder than it sounds, but it's actually kinda fun to put into practice.
Overall, I've learned that people like control. The customers like to make decisions, sales reps like to (and should try to) control the conversation, and people want what they can't have because when they don't have it, it's out of their control. How about that?