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Tales of a clothes-dryer salesman in Portugal

If you can imagine the perfect sales job, it would not be a clothes dryer salesperson in Portugal (or, for that manner, most areas in Europe). Unlike the United States, where over 80% of households own and utilize a dryer, many Europeans don’t care for the process. Perhaps it is tradition or intellect, but you will find glorious clothesline throughout the area regardless of neighborhood or house size. There are benefits of hanging clothes outside that other countries have discovered, including:

  • It saves up to 10% of residential energy.
  • Running a dryer 20 hours a month will cost you on average 100 kilowatt hours, while a clothesline’s operating costs are zero.
  • Clothes will smell more fresh and clean and will not be wrinkled.
  • And, finally, hanging clothes burns 45 calories every 15 minutes. 

Now, imagine trying to sell a product that is not wanted, nor truly needed, by your assigned geographic region. This serves as a reminder to understand your customer fully before deploying drastic efforts toward markets that may not make sense. Before you show your client the 36 unique holes of golf on your courses, ask them first if they or their attendees play golf.

Do you have someone going after the entertainment business when there is not a venue in your area?

Before you sit down at a sushi restaurant, ask if your customer eats raw fish.

Don’t promote your gelato bar to someone who is lactose-intolerant.

Can you share examples of times when asking questions to find out more about a customer led to your success in closing the sale?

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