Many of you may know that I used to work as a Butler in the Buff. That’s right; I used to attend parties in an apron, bow tie and cuffs and go around hosting parties, serving champagne and getting up to all sorts of fun and frolics!
I absolutely loved my time as a butler and
would thoroughly recommend it to anyone whom is looking for a little bit of
extra cash and is up for a new hobby! And with many things in life upon
reflection I have noticed that there is a massive cross over between being a
Butler and sales (I look for sales inspiration from everywhere these days!)
In this short article, I want to share with you the three lessons I learned from being a naked butler and how these can benefit all of our sales careers! It is these three lessons that not only allowed me to become a popular butler but has also helped me in my sales and business life too!
Preparation is Key
The last thing you ever want to do as a butler is to turn up unprepared, and the same can be said for your sales pitch too.
I look at this in two ways. As a Butler I had to ensure I was always in a top condition physically. This meant that my hair was always looking average, I was well toned, I was shaved in all the right areas and at times you may have seen my looking a slightly tone of orange. By keeping on top of these elements it always ensured that I was ready for when the bookings came in.
Once the bookings came the preparation did not just stop there. Once I knew where the party was I would research the route, ensure I knew where I was going, tried to look for parking near the venue and planned out for many eventualities. I even always had spare kit on me just in case anything went wrong.
All of this preparation ensured that my parties were fun, went without failure and that all the guests had a great time.
If you can implement a similar philosophy in your sales career you will see a greater success rate. When planning for meetings always arrive on time with all of the information you promised and looking your best. This may take an extra hour before the meeting to ensure you have all you need but it is much better to be over prepared than it is to be under prepared and losing the sale to your competition.
Mirror Mirror on the Wall
Everyone you are going to meet in your sales life is going to be completely different to the next. We all have different personalities and different ways in which we act.
Every Butler party was different. I have worked crazy parties where the guests wanted me to get joined in with party games, party in the hot tub, squirt squirty cream and champagne everywhere and dance to my hearts content. Other parties required me to take more of a back foot; serve food and drinks, be polite, look good and to generally host. I have worked divorce parties, birthday parties and even a baby shower. One thing that really stood me a part as a Butler is my ability to mirror my client’s needs and personalities and responded to their needs.
You will find some of your own clients like to be loud, brash, and perhaps even party with you. Whereas some clients may want a more formal approach in which your polite sided nature needs to shine through and you need to watch what you say. If you maintain just one personality as a sales person you are going to find yourself not getting on with certain types of people and this will lose your sales.
It is your job as a sales person to be able to monitor your clients and prospects personalities and to mirror those whenever you speak with them. In doing so you will develop deep rapport and relationships that will be unbeatable and will gain you more sales time after time.
Everyone Is a Client
As a Butler it was very easy to get swept away with individuals within the group whom want the most attention. Normally this would be the bride of a hen party, the birthday girl (or boy) and sometimes the recently divorced ladies. This always left various members of the party sitting on the sidelines slightly and through shyness, fear of rejection or embarrassment this could cause some friction within the groups either on the night, or the next morning. I recognised early on that as a Butler it was my job to charm everyone in the room. I had to work the room and to treat everyone to the best possible service.
How many times have you failed trying to speak with the call taker at a prospect’s office, or even the caretaker, cleaner, or any other colleagues? The way I see it is that everyone is a potential client, no matter what you are trying to sell, and everyone has the chance to influence a decision maker. If you want to increase your sales, you need to ensure that you treat everyone with the same respect as you would if they were the main decision maker and that you try to build a rapport with everyone that you can. After all, you never know if the apprentice who has just poured you a coffee will one day go on to become the buying manager.