How to sell: top tips from three sales veterans
Is there an art to selling? A market trader, an art dealer and an estate agent talk to the FT about how to sell.
Filmed by Petros Gioumpasis, Davide Ghiglione and James Sandy. Produced by Daniel Garrahan
Come on down. The price is right. Come on down if your knickers are too tight. Come on wherever .
This top is actually originally from Israel, the Holy Land. It's quite a good buy considering these are GBP4 here today. It lasts. It washes well. And matched up with a nice pair of jeans, I think you could hit the town tonight and probably do really well.
I've been a trader here in this market for 25 years plus. Building up a relationship with the customer is very important, probably vital to any business. And we try to engage in conversation, but not push a sale on someone, never pushing a sale. We're not like the double-glazing salesman where it's a far sale and you want to get your commission.
GBP20 up, OK? You're happy? I think because you're a regular. OK?
Customers who have been here years - they've literally been here maybe decades - I approach them differently. Because they're looking to you -
Thank you, dear.
- as a friend, probably not as a seller. It's psychology. Who knows? I want to be here another 25 years, so it's very important that we engage with the customer and make sure that the customer feels that he's welcome back. Whatever we didn't clinch, we deal with that day.
You've got the beautiful composition. It's important exactly where the foot finishes against the canvas, and the edge of the head, and the way that the arm works. Your eyes drawn all around the artwork, and Lisa's done this so well with this work. It's beautiful, and I think having that on your wall would make you feel happy every evening.
A lot of it is about the passion for the art. You have to really care what you're selling. I think maybe there are some markets where you don't. A good salesperson is a good sales person. But in the art market it shows. And we often find as well at events that when people ask us what our favourite artwork is, that's it. It always sells first. So there are some elements that you can learn. But it has to be in your blood, I think, for what we do.
Welcome to New Pier Wharf. Come this way. This is the sell suite which really just demonstrates the quality of the finish. You've got lovely stone worktops, all stone, integrated appliances throughout. Each apartment will have direct river views and views towards Canary Wharf. So what are your thoughts?
My sales skills really come into play when I'm on evaluations, because I have to sell myself. Getting the instruction is very, very important, because once you've got the instruction, then, obviously, you remark it. And the buyers, to a certain degree, will gravitate towards the instruction.
There are agents out there who will overvalue to get the instruction, and then two weeks later, you're on the phone trying to get the price down. But that's not how I operate. I operate with honesty. But I do listen to my clients. So if they turn around and say they want to put it on and test the market at a high price, then I'm up for the challenge. And so are my team.
So you create competition. You do multiple viewings at very, very tight time slots so that buyers can obviously - they feed off the competition in the room. Even though it doesn't complete until this time next year, we sold about 30-40% of the apartments.
You need to have the personality. You need to have the extrovert skills to be able to sell. You either have the ability, or you don't. And it's very, very difficult to train someone up if they don't have that ability.