Last Updated Jun 26, 2008 7:08 PM EDT
Mangano is a home improvement megasaleswoman on the Home Shopping Network, and her technique, along with other top sales folks on the channel, were recently scrutinized by two Harvard Business School professors at the request of Inc.com. Read the fun and enlightening story Battle of the Network All-Stars, by Leigh Buchanan.
Here are three of the six lessons identified by Anita Elberse and Michael Norton from watching HSN.
- The Slow Reveal. When talking about the beauties of your product, reveal the benefits and features one at a time. "So if you are not convinced by the first benefit," Elberse says, "then you are convinced by the second or by the third. At some point you think, Wow, this is really an unbeatable combination of things, and you go for the phone."
- Model Aspiration. Come across in your presentation as a person your audience would like to hang with -- but just a little better. Says Norton: "These people are aspirational, but they don't seem too far beyond customers' reach. The product becomes a bridge to bring the customer toward them."
- Enthusiasm is Infectious. Your offering may be run of the mill -- Mangano was selling hangers, after all -- but your presentation shouldn't be. Observes Norton: "The founders of companies often are terrible at selling, because they believe their product is better at a gut level. They don't understand they need to communicate that, to get the customer to see what they see. (Mangano) understands."