Selling Mirror to Blinds

A good salesman can even sell ice to an Eskimo.

I have heard this quote or some variants of it since the day I came across the term sales and marketing. After pondering a lot over this quote. I believe very strongly that any salesperson or marketer that can sell ice to Eskimos will NEVER have a career in sales or marketing, as Eskimos have no need for ice! The product probably was sold in an improper manner, and one will NEVER have repeat sales from this client!

A true marketer is the one who builds a relationship of trust with their clients and prospects by consistently selling suitable products. A relationship that stands the test of time.

So when I talk about selling mirror to a blind man. The approach follows the following caveats.

1. Generating Attention
  • Understanding the client by asking questions to gauge what they really want and need. What gets them excited and what makes them complete.
  • Being enthusiastic and excited about my product is the next step. Understanding its core features and what makes it different and better that its alternatives in solving my customer’s problem.

2. Gauging Interest & 3. Unraveling Desire: I have heard a lot about creating a need. But over the course of my career, I have realized that you cannot create a need if there exist none. You can only help the customer to unravel the need that he or she has but yet not acknowledged by him. You can unravel the need by following the below steps:
  • Ask questions
  • Handle Objections

3. Prompting for Action
  • Closing the sale
  • Follow up

This approach is also known as AIDA model.

In my interaction with the blind man, I would enthusiastically introduce myself and my product (here different kind of mirrors), and ask the person I was speaking to, to tell me about himself. The first objection, I will probably get would be that he is not interested because he is blind and couldn’t see himself in the mirror and also no one else lived with him who could use the product.
Fairly valid reason to not buy my product. Not to be discouraged, I would further ask him how he navigate on crowded streets. His response could be with the help of a stick. I can then ask him to try reflective mirrors, specially made for people with sight impairment that works both in the daylight as well as in the night time for letting other people on the road, know that someone is coming in their direction.

Further I ask if he has friends who come to visit him and who are not sight impaired.

I assume he would say yes, that he has friends who come to visit him.

“How long do they stay?” My next question.

He mentions that they come but do not stay for long. On further probing, I would find that his house lacked the feel that a non-blind people expect from a house. Reason is that my client probably need help in areas like getting more lighting from outside in the living area and I would say that then he can buy some decorative mirrors for his living area that will make the space look more lively and bigger. And it will help him create a more socially acceptable persona for his friends.

He says unconvincingly that “It might”.

I would say that, “Why don’t we start with one single but large mirror on the wall opposite to the main door and then see how it goes from there?” With that I would also ask for his details and when he wants the mirror delivered.

At that moment I know that I have accomplished my goal of helping another one of my client and started a relationship that is based on the making the lives of my client better just by following the AIDA approach.

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