Many sales people would argue that you can tell a lot about people from very subtle and odd cues. Such as how they groom themselves, their posture, the value of their material possessions. This may not be always true but these things are often used as indicators and profiling tools for sales people.
Today as I helped a friend hand out flyers for a business event he is hosting. I was getting a little bored with the door-to-door repetition after my iPod containing my Foo Fighters collection died! My brain, not being distracted, began to analyze things around all the homes, especially the mailbox. I thought about the following: Is the mail box wood, metal, large, small, squeaky, lubed up, new, old, filled with mail, clean as a whistle? Are there any signs saying no soliciting or any box at all?
I concluded that in most cases the size of the mail box and what it was made of is relative to family or personal income. I found that the lower-income housing would have smaller, sometimes plastic, mailboxes where as the more extravagant homes would have large, metal mailboxes.
The lower-income housing areas would have mail boxes that were often old and squeaky. They were not well taken care of. The more extravagant homes had mail boxes that were quieter than church mice and the lids were very heavy.
Areas with smaller mail boxes also had a higher percentage of them that were stuffed with flyers and filled with old newspapers regardless of the many, “no solicitation” signs clearly noticeable… and ignored. The larger the box the less mail. No really. It wasn’t a matter of more available volume but a mystery about why the boxes with no signs also had no junk mail. Could it be that pizza companies, McDonalds, Tim Horton and other companies catering to low-income families target these households more aggressively?
After noticing all of this I thought to my self, “Does any of this matter or am I wasting my time?”
Of course it matters! You can tell a lot from the things people own. For a sales person this is one more tactic to add to your profiling repertoire. Door-to-door flyers are a fairly ineffective way of getting a message out there. At least for today. As sales people we need every tactic available if we are going to increase our chances of a sale.
From a sales perspective what are the most effective ways to analyze and profile a prospect? Leave your answers in the comments section.
The Art Of Adaptation: Attention to detail is key.