Each year millions of children (adults too) write letters to Santa Claus, or sit on his lap, and tell him the things they desire. What a clever fellow he is in getting prospects to specify their preferences exactly with just a single question: What do you want for Christmas? If only sales professionals got the same reception and cooperation from their prospects, we would close every sale!
Not a One-Question Close
Let’s reverse the process. What if we were in a position to have Santa buy our products and services? Given his conservative nature, it would take far more than one question to earn his respect and trust. Would you know how to build rapport and secure his business?
From songs, poems and advertising, we know a great deal about Santa’s personality, and how he makes decisions. Santa, like all people, is a combination of styles. However, his manner of dress, behavior, and vocal qualities reveal the best way for approaching the sale.
Follow the Rules
First and foremost, Santa likes rules. He’s a stickler for accuracy and obedience. We know that because he’s a list-maker, and before coming to a conclusion, he checks the record twice. He believes in accountability and rewards performance appropriately.
That Santa cares whether children have been “naughty or nice” indicates his strong principles. He believes in doing one’s duty, being responsible, and adhering to the work ethic. He’s never late, often early. Regardless of the weather on December 24, he keeps his word no matter what.
Although transportation vehicles have improved, Santa remains loyal to his sleigh and reindeer, demonstrating that he much prefers the tried and true to something new. He never complains. In fact, we’re told he’s jolly. He simply goes about his tasks efficiently and tirelessly every Christmas Eve.
3 Tips to Close the Sale
Knowing all this, what’s the best strategy for selling to Santa? Tip number one, be professional. Come prepared with paperwork, neatly arranged in files. Second, arrive early, at least 15-30 minutes before the scheduled time. Third, present the facts without exaggeration. People like Santa lose respect when salespeople are disorganized, late, and overly effusive.
Last item, Santa is unlikely to buy on the first encounter. He requires social proof that you will be around for the long haul. Expect to schedule another appointment. In between, show him your dedication and commitment by following up, maintaining a connection, and keeping your word. Once he says, “Yes!” you’ll have a loyal customer for life.
About Dr. Nancy Zare
A psychologist and retired professor, Dr. Nancy Zare has dedicated her life to helping people communicate more effectively. She earned her masters and doctorate from Boston College, and is past president of the National Speakers Association of New England. She is the author of the books, Workplace Hostility, Myth and Reality, and Closing More Sales: Introduction to AlikeAbility™ as well as numerous articles.
From her experience in both business to business and business to consumer sales, Nancy founded Rapport Builderz in 2012. It provides training, coaching and consultation for people who sell professional services. She originated the AlikeAbility™ System to teach clients how to read personality styles, build better relationships, and generate more business.
Are you someone who puts off doing marketing activities consistently? Nancy now offers membership to Rapport Builderz Club that provides daily coaching, structure, support, and accountability online. It’s an affordable way to keep on track and build success habits. For a complimentary review of your sales style, contact her.