Sales is a lot about psychology. In the book The Art of the Sale, former foreign correspondent for London’s The Daily Telegraph and Harvard MBA Philip Delves Broughton discusses how a merchant in Tangier, Morocco has sold to the likes of Yves Saint Laurent.
Abdel Majid Rais El Fenni is a salesman of fine objects and furnishings deep in the heart of the Medina (old town) of Tangiers. His customers range from the suspicious and clumsy cruise passengers who sweep through the city on the lookout for the quick and the cheap, to interior designers and antique dealers from around the world looking for treasures for their clients, to the rich and famous themselves — Elizabeth Taylor was a customer — who trek to Majid’s store to shop.
One of the many reasons of his success is his ability to read the customer. He understands that sales opportunities develop quickly and that sales strategies must be readily tailored to meet the needs of his customers, and that he must quickly uncover his customers’ true desires. Not all customers just want a bargain. Some want a piece with a fascinating history. Some want to show off in front of their friend how good they are at finding the “best.”
This falls in line with what my international marketing professor always said, marketing isn’t about fact, it’s about perception.
Sales is an intricate art that takes a lifetime to master but is simply put, the most important aspect of business.
If you get a chance, pick up this amazing book.