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Sales Talk Part 3: What's Really being Said in Everyone's Head

By Otto Papasadero


In part 2 of the previous NARDA E-Newsletter, we discussed the importance of attitude as it relates to the success of a professional sales associate. We now will describe what customers expect when trusting and forming a positive relationship with their salesperson. The following is a saying that I feel really rings true, not only in sales, but in our daily contact with everyone we meet:

Caring and Courtesy
“People don’t care how much you know… until they know how much you care.”

I have found that this is the most often-overlooked aspect in the customer/salesperson relationship. In fact, until this dynamic is formed, there is no relationship, just an impersonal transaction in which the salesperson fails to make any meaningful contact with the potential customer.

The following chart shows the most important characteristics of the salesperson from the customer’s perspective. These statistics were gathered by surveying actual shoppers. Note that the most important characteristic, “courtesy,” was an expectation for almost 100 percent of potential customers.

Being courteous was closely followed by being knowledgeable about the products that associates are selling, as well as other options in the marketplace. This expectation is becoming ever more important as customers have easy access to product specifications and pricing through the Internet. This situation also makes it more important than ever for successful salespeople to form unique and appealing relationships with their customers. Notice that demographics such as sex, age and ethnicity are becoming less and less important. It appears that it is still important that a customer is able to identify salespeople either through the use of nametags or identifiable clothing.


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RRetailers, Servicers, Suppliers: A Call for Industry Participation

For more than 75 years, the North American Retail Dealers Association has been the voice of independent appliance, electronics, bedding and furniture retailers. Through education, representation and a host of benefits, NARDA has worked diligently for all retailers.

Here’s how you can help both the industry and your own enterprise: NARDA is now moving forward into new areas and seeks volunteers that can give an hour or less each month to help guide the association. Please indicate your interest and you will be contacted and given more information.

Your name:

Contact number:

NARDA also is asking you to identify the areas in which it can assist you and your business. Whether it is legislation, education, legal services, publications, repair service or cloud-based services, please indicate which issues are most important to you. The very best suggestions will receive a $100 gift card.

Please express your willingness to volunteer and suggestions to

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2011 CODB Survey Now Available
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North American Retail Dealers Association
222 South Riverside Plaza, Suite 2100
Chicago IL 60606
Phone: 312.648.0649 or 800.621.0298 (US Only)
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