What does travel have to do with sales? We get it. It’s time for a summer break – and time for the hard working sales representative to take a well-earned vacation. But before you completely switch off the sales part of your brain, maybe consider that your holiday and the world of sales have more in common than you might have initially thought?
Open your mind to new opportunities
At Mercuri, we’re always talking about ‘global reach, local expertise’. But what do we really mean by this? Well, it means that in business there are some universal truths, but that it also pays to respect and acknowledge local customs and cultures – whether it be in the world of sales, or just planning your next summer trip. Let us explain…
Consider your holiday – when you go somewhere new, what do you expect? The same as home? Of course not – that would be a little counter-productive. What you do anticipate is an experience where you bring your own perspective but expect to have to shift to accommodate regional variations. We think you can probably see where we’re going here…
Every destination, every culture has unique variations – variations that are evident in every verbal exchange, every personal encounter, every transaction. To avoid causing misunderstanding or offence, the well prepared traveller naturally does a little preparation before heading overseas.
Top tips for trouble-free travel
Here are 5 top tips from travel site worldpackers.com:
- Study the culture of your destination beforehand
- Talk to someone who’s traveled there before
- Respect the local culture
- Maintain good communication
- Have empathy
Notice anything? Yes – with just a little rephrasing – this is pretty much a best-practice checklist for an effective sales negotiation. Let’s match the above 5 tips with some other recommendations with which the effective sales representative will be more familiar:
- Study the culture of your destination beforehand. Do your research into the business area
- Talk to someone who’s travelled there before. Engage with internal resources with colleagues for more info
- Respect the local culture. Respect the client’s individual priorities and expertise
- Maintain good communication. Clearly present your case, in whatever channel – physical or digital
- Have empathy. View the world from the client’s perspective
The same behaviours that make for an enjoyable, rewarding travel experience are remarkably similar to those skills used by the best sales representatives, with particularly strong alignment to the Value Based Selling technique. It’s our ability to empathize with others – based on a respect and understanding of other cultures and perspectives – that enables us to form relationships with people from diverse backgrounds and regions.
It’s all about discovery
This understanding is always built on solid research before we ever travel/enter a sales negotiation – so the time you spend really getting to know the particulars of your destination/prospect will really pay off down the line.
Whether it be learning some key phrases in the local language or gaining an understanding of activities likely to cause offence (from dress code to handshakes to punctuality), a little preparation can pay dividends – sometimes literally.
So while you’re on vacation, whether haggling for a rug in Marrakesh or considering the cost of an espresso in St. Mark’s square, remember that while it’s (definitely) healthy to leave your sales hat at home, adjusting to and respecting the uniqueness of your surroundings is the key to a happy holiday… and also might teach you something worth remembering when you get back to work…