By Jeff Beals
During my sales workshops, I like to ask the participants to answer a couple questions: “Who likes Nordstrom?” “Who likes Wal-Mart?” It always creates a buzz and causes the audience to stir, because people tend to have strong opinions about those two retailers.
Nordstrom is a chain of upscale department stores based in downtown Seattle, the chic and sophisticated hub of the Northwest.
Wal-Mart is the world’s biggest discount retailer and is based in Bentonville, a town of 36,000 people tucked away in northwest Arkansas.
At first glance, you might think these two businesses could not be more different, but a closer look reveals they are very much alike. Both enjoy huge, rabidly loyal followings. Their customers love them and go back again and again. Millions of families live almost exclusively on affordable products purchased from Wal-Mart. Nordstrom customers are known to travel hundreds of miles to visit their favorite department store.
These two similar-but-different retailers have been successful over many years, because they know their real business. They know what they really do as opposed to what it appears they do.
Wal-Mart is not in the grocery-and-general merchandise business. Instead, it’s in the “saving-people-money-so-they-can-live-better” business. Nordstrom isn’t in the garment retailing business. It’s in the “make-you-look-and-feel-special” business. The experiences and feelings Nordstrom provide are, to many customers, even more valuable than the apparel and accessories themselves.
The key word for both companies’ success is “value.”
No matter what you sell, success ultimately comes down to your ability to deliver great value for the money your clients invest.
But how do you define value?
Value is determined by the client. Value exists in the client’s head. By making your clients feel truly special, you make it easier for them to see the great value you can provide.
The sales professionals understand that value is critical.
The most successful real estate agents are in the “help-you-get-your-dream-house” business. Insurance brokers are in the “keep- you-safe-and-secure” business. Financial advisors are in the “make-you-wealthy” business. Professional consultants are in the “keep-your-company-solvent” business. Risk managers are in the “keep-your-butt-out-of-court” business.
Clients feel most special when their service providers prove that it’s all about client. The successful person is the one who is in business to make someone else’s dreams come true.
As the legendary Sam Walton, founder of Wal-Mart once said, “There is only one boss. The customer. And he can fire everybody, by spending his money somewhere else.”
Jeff Beals is a professional speaker and award-winning author, who helps companies increase their profits and associations achieve their missions through effective sales and personal branding techniques.
Here’s Why Should You Choose Jeff Beals as Your Next Speaker:
“Jeff is sure to deliver an engaging and motivating speech! He cleverly ties together his stories and makes the speech end with a punch. Being the closing speaker is tough, but he stepped-up to the challenge and hit a home-run. Due to the high ratings and overwhelming response to re-watch his speech, we are planning on using his video during our NextGen watch party.” – Megan Dotson, Senior Client Success Consultant & Event Director, GovLoop.com, Washington, DC
“Your workshop was a huge experience for our attendees by giving them the opportunity to improve their work in the critical environment in which we are living today. Your talent as a speaker and your qualities as a person made the difference during your time with us. I would certainly recommend you to anyone who asks.” – Ana Paula Costa, Educational Planner, Febracorp, Sao Paulo, Brazil
“Our corporate partnership team had great takeaways regarding how to network smarter while also understanding the importance of our personal brand to current and prospective partners. Jeff does a great job weaving in real-world examples and how you can apply his teachings to growing your business and
building long-term partnerships.” – Jason Booker, Senior Director of Corporate Sponsorships, The Kansas City Royals Major League Baseball Team
“If you are considering hiring Jeff, I will only say this: do it now. His ability to connect with an audience and explain the importance of telling the story is nothing short of extraordinary. The true litmus of any great speaker is authenticity. And when authenticity is coupled with an incredibly high amount of energy, humor, and engagement – you get Jeff. I would highly recommend him to anyone who needs a speaker attendees will talk about for a long time to come.” – Alison Cody, Executive Director, Manufacturers’ Agents Association for the Foodservice Industry, Atlanta, GA
“I’m in Phoenix and had breakfast earlier this morning with our semi-retired sales representative who is doing some continued work for us down here. He attended your sales meeting last week and told me that in 43 years of selling, you were the best he had heard. Thanks for a great experience.” – Drew Vogel, President & CEO, Diamond Vogel Paints, Orange City, IA