Why selling ice to Eskimos is a bad idea (free tool included)

We often work with suppliers (et al) about how to work more effectively with retailers to build mutually beneficial relationships. Of course SELLING is a topic often addressed and we often have to train (a) the RETAILERS how to sell our client’s product, but we also (b) have train the CLIENT in how to sell effectively to the retailer.

In both instances, the underlying philosophy is not about selling as much of your stuff is possible and convincing the other party with selling ice to eskimos tricks. That approach works – but unfortunately only once. Most retailers are smart enough to know when they have been taken for a ride and you are unlikely to get two opportunities to screw the same guy.

I have summarised some of the messages we give in that instance in a checklist - which you can DOWNLOAD FOR FREE.

The missing ingredient in this checklist is of course the SKILLS required to push the right buttons at the right stages of the conversation. But the purpose of this post is not to train representatives, but to give sales teams a framework to compare & evaluate their own approach.

It is not so much that there is ONE right approach, but rather that the approach you DO have must be based on a series of rational decisions, rather than an laissez faire 'interaction' that serves very little purpose beyond ticking the box that you have actually visited a client.

Whilst we identify 4 different stages of the interaction, it is not about following a rigid process. (Human interactions are too dynamic to force into a 7-step sales process and such forced behaviours invariably feel inauthentic anyway.)