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Marketing

Sales lessons from Santa

I love this time of year, decorated trees, festive lights and most importantly in my case, over-excited children! The main cause of this excitement is the ultimate icon in personal branding.

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A jolly fella, who established his brand way before people even talked about such stuff, way back in the 14th Century. A man by the name of St Nicholas or as we often refer to him, Santa

All these festivities and no doubt a festive glass or two got me thinking about how Santa has endured over the centuries (and yes I still believe, obviously) and more importantly what we can learn from the jolly elf, in terms of sales lessons and building relationships.

Below is Santa’s sales “nice” list:

  1. Give generously to others, things that are important to them. One of the main reasons for Santa’s popularity is that he gives you the gifts that you really want (hopefully). This isn’t easy, it takes some time and a desire to find out what’s important to the person receiving the gift. This is much the same as what a successful salesperson does. They find out what is important to their client or potential customer and help them find or solve this, regardless of whether it is something they sell or their personal elves have made, themselves
  2. Santa picks and chooses his customers. That’s right, if you’re naughty then Santa won’t reward you. So, if you have a customer or client who behaves badly or is too difficult or unprofitable to deal with, should you keep them as a customer? In the long run it is possibly better for you that you don’t. Yes you can choose your customers, take confidence from Santa, or if you need further persuasion on this, read “Can I sack my Client?” by Keith Dugdale.
  3. He trusts his delivery team. Santa has confidence he can deliver his service as requested on time, because he has trust in a great team. The Elves make the presents all year round, to order. Then in what is the biggest delivery job of all time he trumps Amazon and flies around the world in one night, thanks to his team of trusty Reindeer. All of what Santa achieves, like any great salesperson will tell you, is down to the support crew and delivery team he has around him. In fact, as Nat King Cole famously sung, most of Santa’s work is carried out by his key support person, Mrs Santa Claus.
  4. He knows who the real customers are. Santa understands his target market. Yes the users, or shall we say consumers of his service are primarily children but the main decision makers who buy-in to his story are parents. Speaking as one, Santa watching every move and only rewarding good behaviour is one of the best gifts I get all year, particularly at bedtime. It’s even allowed a nice side-line for Santa and his team have they have a range of apps for parents to have calls from Santa and even video messages from Portable North Pole, to help with the behaviour. Yes, Santa has the Economic buyers, 100% on-board.

I hope you’ve enjoyed Santa’s jolly sales lessons. To everyone who has kindly taken the time I wish you a very Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year. If you have different beliefs or followings then I offer you the season’s greetings and, of course, all the very best for 2017.

"What can we learn from Santa the jolly elf, in terms of sales and building relationships?"

Need some help planning for your next meeting? Download the Business of Trust’s free client meeting planner template. After all it’s that time of year where it’s good to give things to others, for free!

Ben Paul

is the New Zealand Director of Director and founder of The BD Ladder. He helps his clients: individuals, teams, and organisations, to build trust with their clients. This helps increase sales without anyone ever having to “sell” anything. Connect with Ben on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook or YouTube.

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