When it comes to selling anything, times are changing rapidly, and so are consumers. To become better at selling we need to become a better observer of how other businesses do it. Every time we make a purchase start reviewing the way you were sold. Look for the good and the bad. Take the good observations and, if you can, incorporate them into your own business. Most importantly of all, learn something from the interaction.

We are so used to going into various businesses and making a purchase it is easy to go through the process on autopilot. But if you start to become more observant it can be very interesting. You start to notice a lot more, you can sense when a sale is lost by the salesperson or when the sale is made.

Standing in a queue can have some benefits, not many I might add, but it does give you time to watch what is happening and in business, information that we might take from a sales interaction could be game-changing.

I enjoy it a lot more when there is a good salesperson at work. It is interesting to see how they develop a rapport with the customer, ask the right questions, listen to the answers and respond accordingly. And it's really nice to see them close the sale.

When you do become an observer it helps if you are a little prepared. I always carry a notebook, but of course most people have a phone to take notes. As soon as you see something, good or bad, that strikes a chord, make a note of it and refer to it later. I've got hundreds of pages of handwritten notes that I've taken over the years and some of what I've observed has been priceless to say the least.

Next time you go into a business to buy something, observe how they handle the sale. Do they simply take your money or do they actually sell their products to you? Try to do this every time you buy something this week and you will be surprised at how much information you take in and the tips you pick up.

To stay relevant and engaged with our customers we need to make sure our sales process evolves with the changing expectations and behavior of these customers.