Nobody likes rejection, and nobody gets more of it than salespeople. Buying is an emotional decision, and a willing customer can cool off in a heartbeat. You are showing the product and your customer’s head is bobbing up and down like a doll in the back window of the car. You know it’s going to be a sale. You and your customer are both smiling approvingly. You are thinking, “Oh boy, oh boy.” Then suddenly your customer’s smile goes away and you hear those dreaded words, “I need to think about it; I will be back. That “Oh boy” feeling fades away as your customer begins to walk away. What do you do now? Most people will either bear down and push for the sale, or bail out and hope that the customer will come back. Some do; Most don’t and you know it.
Which Way Will You Go?
The “Bear Down” salesperson says something like, “You know you love it, that’s a great price, you should get it now.” Some even suddenly drop the price thinking that will close the sale.
The “Bail Out” salesperson says something like, “Okay, here’s my card, please ask for me when you come back.” The customer smiles, agrees and heads for the door. You frown and feel depressed. One of these two scenarios plays out in luxury retail stores across the country every day. There must be a better way, and there is.
Put on Your Detective Hat
The wise salesperson stops selling at this point and becomes a concerned “detective” looking for the real reason the customer is not buying it. This salesperson says something like, “Okay, but maybe it’s just not the right piece, and if that’s the case, you shouldn’t get it. Let’s take another minute before you leave, and tell me, what is it about this piece that just MIGHT NOT be right?” Now simply shut up and continue looking at the piece. It’s the customer’s turn to talk and you will be surprised how many confessions you will get. You will hear things like, “Well to tell you the truth, it’s more than I was planning to spend.” Or, “It just doesn’t look right to me.” or “It’s actually too big” or “Too small.” These are “truths” that can be dealt with.
No Means, “No, Not Yet.”
There’s usually a real reason, and when you uncover the truth, chances are you can do something to resolve it and make the sale, if not that item, then another one. The truth will set you free; lies paralyze. If the customer say’s, “No, I just always like to think before buying” and that’s true the truth is that the customer really does need to think about it, help him or her do it while still in the store. Say, “Do you think it MIGHT BE the right piece?” If the answer is, “Yes” or “Maybe,” say, “Let’s be sure” and then go back over the features and benefits of the piece looking for what might be the hold up. If you cannot find a good reason to not buy it, then SELL IT! Say, “It looks like we have found the right item, is there anything we didn’t think about?” If there isn’t, then say, “Let’s do it now and you won’t have to come back.” This is where salespeople are separated from clerks and order takers. The key is doing it for the customer, not for you. The customer will have the product longer than you and the store will have the money. When that’s where your heart is, you and the customer both win.