I was in a ski shop a couple of weeks ago, and for the first time ever I saw a pair of these hand-made, short run, seriously nontraditional skis that I have been researching for the better part of three years. These skis are definitely made for "skiing the extreme." The best part about the shop is that it is staffed by real riders who know how cheesy it is to say anything about "skiing the extreme."
I have always envisioned these skis in my quiver paired with a particular set of alpine touring bindings that are the standard throughout the world for quality and reliability. I ran the idea by the guy who I was chatting with in the shop, and he grimaced. It turns out that the shop has been providing ongoing service for someone who made the same choice at the beginning of the season only to have ripped out the bindings several times because of major torsional pressure.
I bought the skis, I changed my vision and paired them with the right bindings, and they are being hand-drilled and mounted as I write this. I am looking forward to being waist deep in fresh Cascade Cement in the next few days without my bindings ripping out of these beautiful pieces of mountain art.
Why has "sales" become such a dirty word? Why is the idea of selling synonymous with psychological manipulation? Are there really so many hacks out there selling? Yes there are.
Imagine if this shop had hired a bunch of people with roots in sales but no experience with real skiers? They could have asked me,"What is it going to take to get you, someone who skis the extreme, into these skis today?" and I would have laughed and walked.
Instead, they listened to me, envisioned my objectives, and gave me insight based on real experience with their customers to help me achieve my goals. That is what selling is all about...three easy steps:
- Ask the right questions
- Listen to your prospect's answers
- Envision the next steps to achieve your prospect's goals
All of the rest of the steps in completing the transaction align naturally, because you both share the same goals from that point forward.
Did he sell to me? Yes and no. What they did really well in this shop is what any good sales person does in any industry; they shared their expertise with a prospective customer and provided the know-how for the customer to make an informed decision. They saw that I was a hot lead, and they asked the right questions. By listening closely they differentiated themselves as the number one resource for properly setting up these crazy skis.
Director of Client Services
Weekend Warrior Skiing the Extreme