Valentine’s Day is often mocked and criticized for being a “Hallmark holiday” with no real significance, but the truth is, lots of Americans take Valentine’s Day seriously — and they spend big money doing it!
According to U.S. News & World Report, as of 2015, 54.9 percent of Americans over the age of 18 celebrate Valentine’s Day, and in 2015 they spent a total of $18.9 billion on Valentine’s Day retail gifts such as flowers, candy and jewelry.
Valentine’s Day is actually a great holiday for people in the sales profession — because many sales people have a strong romantic streak. Whether you’re married or single or dating someone, many sales people have a strong intuition for relationship-building — they know how to establish trust, command attention, exude charisma and make people feel special and valued. Sales is a business of passion, enthusiasm and the art of understanding other people’s motivations and unstated wishes. It sounds a lot like love!
With that in mind, the same skills that you might use to plan a great Valentine’s Day date or choose the ideal Valentine’s Day gift are also the ideal skills to be a great sales person. Here are a few Valentine’s Day sales tips for business owners and sales people.
Valentine’s Day Sales Tips
Know Your Target Audience
Valentine’s Day is all about knowing what your significant other really wants. Do they want a big, splashy night out with a fancy dinner and an elaborate gift? Or do they want a simpler, home-cooked meal and just relaxing and spending quality time together? Does your Valentine want big gestures or humble actions? Knowing the answer will make your Valentine’s Day fun — or forgettable.
In the same way, sales people need to know their customers on a deep level. What is your customers’ key “pain point” that makes them want to buy from you? What are the biggest problems that you’re helping to solve? How do different customers prefer to be contacted or approached? Do you know the subtle rhythms and nuances of each customer relationship? In time, a good sales person becomes attuned to the complexities of each customer relationship — almost like being in a marriage.
Valentine’s Day is one of the most in-demand nights of the year for restaurant reservations, live music venues and movie theaters. Are you ready to book your plans for a fun evening out? People who wait too long often miss out on the best opportunities.
Again, it’s the same with sales. No matter how great a sales person might be at talking with customers and building relationships and closing deals, it’s all for naught if they don’t do their homework upfront. Research your customers. Plan a detailed strategy for how to approach each sale. Understand what your customers need and how you can fit into their overall business goals. And do it now — don’t delay!
Enjoy the Journey
Valentine’s Day is an exciting occasion for many people in love, but it can also be disappointing when people have high hopes for the evening, only to find out that the experience was less than they had expected. Whether you and your partner are too busy and distracted by work, or the restaurant was too crowded and the food was lackluster, or you’re too tired from dealing with the kids, or otherwise just not able to totally focus on each other and enjoy the night, disappointing Valentine’s Days are definitely a possibility.
And that’s OK! Not every Valentine’s Day is going to be the best one of your life, and it’s the same with sales. Not every customer wants to buy from you, not every deal will go smoothly — and sometimes you’ll feel like you’re really close to making a sale, only to see the deal fall apart at the last minute for reasons beyond your control. It’s true that sales is a results-oriented business — but the best sales people learn how to enjoy the process of making sales almost as much as they love winning the big deals. Keep your eye on the journey, not just the destination.
Valentine’s Day is likely to be another big event for retailers and for everyone who’s in love. Try to keep these Valentine’s Day sales tips in mind so you can have a more successful month of sales — and be able to afford more expensive Valentine’s gifts!
Valentine’s Photo via Shutterstock