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Creative vs. Retail Selling

One of the popular sales trainers and sales speakers of the mid-Twentieth Century, was Fred Herman. He was also a pioneer in audio training, although in his day it was 33 1/3 rmm vinyl. Earl Nightingale called Herman "The world's greatest sales trainer." I once listened to a segment of one of his talks in which he said that there are two categories of selling, Creative Selling and Retail Selling. He provoked laughs from his audience when he said that creative selling is when you go out and surprise the prospect, and retail selling is when the prospect comes in and surprises you.

Those are not my definitions or descriptions--they're his. His point was that retail selling took less creativity, and that "fact" somewhat accounted for lesser earnings opportunities, Frankly, I thought his bias was transparent. If I HAD to separate all salespeople into just two categories, my categories would not be his, nor would they be in his context. BUT--even an imperfect definition can work as a model for discussion.

SO--does anyone have any thoughts on this? - by Ace Coldiron
I would describe the two types as ......

Selling hamburgers to the starving and selling hamburgers to those who haven't realized they are even hungry.

The first typically takes less effort. - by jdedwa11
Ace,

In my opinion the two different categories of selling are (1) aggressive, persuasive techniques or (2) asking probing questions, listening and fulfilling a need by allowing the client to buy. - by MPrince
This is old school but still true; "The creative salesman helps the buyer express his need. He tries to get the buyer to realize that he has a problem based upon this particular need, and that the product can fulfill that need. In some cases, the buyer may not be aware of his need, which means that he may not realize he has a problem. The salesman must help him first to identify his need, then to establish the general problem, and finally to show how he has the product to help fulfill the need." - by Johnny Fairplay
In some cases, the buyer may not be aware of his need, which means that he may not realize he has a problem. The salesman must help him first to identify his need, then to establish the general problem, and finally to show how he has the product to help fulfill the need."
That was EXACTLY the case when my missuse let the Hoover Vacuum guy in the front door.

Aloha... shds; ;bg - by rattus58
One of the popular sales trainers and sales speakers of the mid-Twentieth Century, was Fred Herman. He was also a pioneer in audio training, although in his day it was 33 1/3 rmm vinyl. Earl Nightingale called Herman "The world's greatest sales trainer." I once listened to a segment of one of his talks in which he said that there are two categories of selling, Creative Selling and Retail Selling. He provoked laughs from his audience when he said that creative selling is when you go out and surprise the prospect, and retail selling is when the prospect comes in and surprises you.

Those are not my definitions or descriptions--they're his. His point was that retail selling took less creativity, and that "fact" somewhat accounted for lesser earnings opportunities, Frankly, I thought his bias was transparent. If I HAD to separate all salespeople into just two categories, my categories would not be his, nor would they be in his context. BUT--even an imperfect definition can work as a model for discussion.

SO--does anyone have any thoughts on this?
From our research, he is "right on."

That doesn't mean that if someone has the retail job they are less creative but rather the demand is different.

People who enjoy cold calling are intrinsically very different than those who have the prospect come to them. We found that while sales reps can shift back and forth their income takes a beating when engaged in the style that is not as comfortable.

This prompted our article called: Surf-Turf and Amphibian. (The title looked good at the time :))

Turf: car sales
Surf: cold field calls such as door-to-door sales or phone
Amphibian: they get both worlds as with Realtors.

I am talking about career styles, not when a car salesman occasionally tries to sell a car over the phone.

Turf
When a prospect comes to me there are many lose assumptions that can be made: they know they have a need; they are willing to pay for it; they most likely have the money; they have the time; a good idea of the process, and rapport is not that essential in most circumstances. ( I wanted a Chrysler 300 it didn't matter if the sales rep was on probation)

Surf
In cold calling: I must get their attention; convince them of the need; convince them of the value; often find the money for them, and educate them on the process in a very, very short time, all of which requires extremely effective establishment of rapport and trust.

_________________________________________________

What really makes the difference is a sense of security among many other advantages and disadvantages. In an office with people coming to you, there is no issue of self-worth. However, when cold-calling and with most saying "no" that has a very different impact.

There are Turf people who should avoid cold calling and Surf people who should avoid sitting in an office.
- by John Voris
From our research, he is "right on."

That doesn't mean that if someone has the retail job they are less creative but rather the demand is different.

People who enjoy cold calling are intrinsically very different than those who have the prospect come to them. We found that while sales reps can shift back and forth their income takes a beating when engaged in the style that is not as comfortable.

This prompted our article called: Surf-Turf and Amphibian. (The title looked good at the time :))

Turf: car sales
Surf: cold field calls such as door-to-door sales or phone
Amphibian: they get both worlds as with Realtors.

I am talking about career styles, not when a car salesman occasionally tries to sell a car over the phone.

Turf
When a prospect comes to me there are many lose assumptions that can be made: they know they have a need; they are willing to pay for it; they most likely have the money; they have the time; a good idea of the process, and rapport is not that essential in most circumstances. ( I wanted a Chrysler 300 it didn't matter if the sales rep was on probation)

Surf
In cold calling: I must get their attention; convince them of the need; convince them of the value; often find the money for them, and educate them on the process in a very, very short time, all of which requires extremely effective establishment of rapport and trust.

_________________________________________________

What really makes the difference is a sense of security among many other advantages and disadvantages. In an office with people coming to you, there is no issue of self-worth. However, when cold-calling and with most saying "no" that has a very different impact.

There are Turf people who should avoid cold calling and Surf people who should avoid sitting in an office.
John, cold calling and prospecting in general is more marketing than selling. I've designed direct response marketing programs using print and radio which equates to buying prospects and continuously evaluating the ROI (of dollars). The ROI of cold calling and prospecting must be examined by evaluating the expenditure of time and energy (money too).

What happens AFTER those prospects are FOUND through either venue depends on the efficiency and effectiveness of the sales person. And YES...the creativity also.

When a person has to do the marketing and the selling, he/she is fulfilling two functions--both at the time expense of the other. Obviously--that has to influence income possibilities or why bother. But the some people do bother without examining the ROI, and they get frustrated for doing so--and sometimes broke. - by Gary A Boye
This is old school but still true; "The creative salesman helps the buyer express his need. He tries to get the buyer to realize that he has a problem based upon this particular need, and that the product can fulfill that need. In some cases, the buyer may not be aware of his need, which means that he may not realize he has a problem. The salesman must help him first to identify his need, then to establish the general problem, and finally to show how he has the product to help fulfill the need."
In my opinion this is a good definition of "Creative Selling". I believe you can be a Creative Salesperson even if you are selling "Retail". - by MPrince
John, cold calling and prospecting in general is more marketing than selling. I've designed direct response marketing programs using print and radio which equates to buying prospects and continuously evaluating the ROI (of dollars). The ROI of cold calling and prospecting must be examined by evaluating the expenditure of time and energy (money too).

What happens AFTER those prospects are FOUND through either venue depends on the efficiency and effectiveness of the sales person. And YES...the creativity also.

When a person has to do the marketing and the selling, he/she is fulfilling two functions--both at the time expense of the other. Obviously--that has to influence income possibilities or why bother. But the some people do bother without examining the ROI, and they get frustrated for doing so--and sometimes broke.
This it true.

Many I know, loosely define the scope of marketing beginning with the production of goods or services and terminates when the goods or service reach the consumer or end user. Of course there are many variations but this seems a good functional definition for my purposes.

I had this dual function for over 30 years. There really was no other way. My marketing technique you can say, included my selling technique until they became blurred together. But I was one person without any financially viable options that did not ultimately decrease the bottom-line.

Sales is so much "Organized Chaos" that often attempting to describe it is like "noodling" in the Mississippi river. - by John Voris
John, a rarely acknowledged paradox is that nothing is more orderly than chaos. - by Gary A Boye
In my opinion this is a good definition of "Creative Selling". I believe you can be a Creative Salesperson even if you are selling "Retail".
I actually like the reference myself. I'm glad this was bumped because I'm now going to look into Herman a little more. - by MrCharisma
It can be just as difficult with the former as the latter...it depends on the situation, the cost, the product/service, etc. It's a gross generalization to lump them into two categories. - by Nick Garcia, MBA
It can be just as difficult with the former as the latter...it depends on the situation, the cost, the product/service, etc. It's a gross generalization to lump them into two categories.
I agree with that. I never fully agreed with Herman on the subject. He was famous for the line Keep It Simple Salesman. A gross generalization is too simple. - by Gary A Boye
I also agree with "simple". I believe that salespeople often make sales harder than it should be by over thinking. There is so many sales Gurus out there and if you listen to all of them it is like being at a rock concert. The music is so loud you can't hear the words to the song. Sometimes the "right" way is so simple folks over-look it. - by MPrince
I also agree with "simple". I believe that salespeople often make sales harder than it should be by over thinking. There is so many sales Gurus out there and if you listen to all of them it is like being at a rock concert. The music is so loud you can't hear the words to the song. Sometimes the "right" way is so simple folks over-look it.

I agree and prefer shaving with Ockum's Razor for that very point. - by John Voris
I agree and prefer shaving with Ockum's Razor for that very point.
John, it was the construct of Ockum's Razor that partially influenced my introduction of Intrinsic Questions as one of Four Things that determine our success in selling.

"Intrinsic Questions are the building blocks of a sale." - by Gary A Boye
John, it was the construct of Ockum's Razor that partially influenced my introduction of Intrinsic Questions as one of Four Things that determine our success in selling.

"Intrinsic Questions are the building blocks of a sale."

Well Gary, mind sharing just a couple of those "Intrinsic Questions?" - by John Voris
Well Gary, mind sharing just a couple of those "Intrinsic Questions?"
"Gary, would you provide two examples of what you mean by the term Intrinsic Question?"

That's one. Note the difference between the way you sought information and the purity and directness of how I phrased it.

Here's another:

"John, do you see a difference in my example and your question?"

Here is an example of a five word Intrinsic Question from sales that I have used for decades. It has accounted for much success:

"Do you like the (product, proposal, suggestion, idea, etc,)?

Here is a powerful Intrinsic Question:

"If the price was right and you found you could fit it into your budget, is this something you would like to own?" - by Gary A Boye
I also want to pay homage to the great sales educator, Jacques Werth, for one of the best of all Intrinsic questions, "Is this something you want?" - by Gary A Boye
"Gary, would you provide two examples of what you mean by the term Intrinsic Question?"

That's one. Note the difference between the way you sought information and the purity and directness of how I phrased it.

Here's another:

"John, do you see a difference in my example and your question?"

Here is an example of a five word Intrinsic Question from sales that I have used for decades. It has accounted for much success:

"Do you like the (product, proposal, suggestion, idea, etc,)?

Here is a powerful Intrinsic Question:

"If the price was right and you found you could fit it into your budget, is this something you would like to own?"

Ockum on Steroids

by
Gary Boye


Pragmatist Extraordinaire ;bg


Often trying to be creative becomes an artificial inducement in the wrong hands. In the eyes of the prospect, such approach spawns rapport resistance.

Directness of thought, revealed through such clarity and precision of language, lends to at least the appearance of sincere speaking. This lack of ambiguity delivers honest sincerity for the prospect, encouraging rapport.

I can see that this "Intrinsic Question" approach would increase effectiveness for anyone in sales regardless of their level. - by John Voris
Off topic this comment I confess, but you gave me a much needed laugh, John.

I got described by John today as Occam on Steroids and Pragmatist Extraordinaire. I guess my history of cryptic enveloper and hopeless romantic has faded rapidly. Thank goodness for reasons I won't share. - by Gary A Boye
I can see that this "Intrinsic Question" approach would increase effectiveness for anyone in sales regardless of their level.
I have never thought of it as "an approach", John.

It is a Critical Understanding of what creates success in selling--one of four: Honest, intrinsic, questions are the building blocks of sales. - by Gary A Boye
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