Do You Know Your Customers? – Business Sales

I was thinking about this over the holidays and lately I have been doing some shopping and interacting with retail salespeople, and I use that term very loosely.

I have been in sales since I was eight years old. I am not going to go into that history right now, but let’s just say I have been involved in sales and marketing for a long time.

So today I got to thinking about a man and a job that really taught me a lot about sales. It was a retail store, as a matter of fact it was a very high end men’s clothing store. In 1973 this place sold suits for $600 a pop. You can buy a nice suit for that price today.

Well as you can imagine we had a VIP clientele, these were the movers and shakers of the city this store was located in.

The manager of the store was a gentleman by the name of Phil Strom, and Phil new how to sell. Now when I said that did your mind go right to a fast-talking, slap you on the back, and count your fingers after you shake his hand kind of guy?


See you have the wrong image of a salesman, you thought of the stereotype of a salesman. No Phil new people and he new his customers.

Here are a few things Phil taught me.

Phil taught me not to ask some one coming into the store if I could help them. I am not going to tell you what I did say, I want you to work on that on your own. Let your salesmanship bust through.

Phil taught me to get everybody’s,
Phone number
Wife’s name
Kids name
Wife’s birthday
Kid’s birthday
Where they worked
Where they were from
Their size of everything
Their favorite colors

And when you got it you wrote it down in a book and you kept track of everything you knew about that customer.

Then he taught me how to follow up because I had all of this info.

He taught me how to call my customer list and invite them back in to the store because we had something new in and it was their favorite color.

He taught me how to call a customers wife before his birthday and get her to come in and get her husband a gift in his size and favorite color, of course.

He taught me that people like service, after someone bought a suit it was tailored and pressed, and then it was delivered by the salesperson to the customer.

He taught me that it’s easy to sell someone that has already bought.

He taught me that the up sell is easy. In 1974 I sold one man $2,400 worth of clothes and it all started with a $300 suit.

He taught me to be active in the community.

He taught me to network I joined Toastmasters.

He taught me what I heard Zig Ziggler say 10 years later, “if you help enough people get what they want, you’ll get what you want”.

He taught me that if you look sharp and dress sharp you will feel better about yourself and what you do.

He also taught me to love steak tar tar, but that’s another storey.

By the way Phil was a very quiet, low-key, classy kind of guy, that new how to sell.

How are you treating your customers? If my shopping experience this year was any kind of indicator at all you could start selling like Phil and you wouldn’t have any competition.

Now go sell something.

Take care,

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