do you Say?
a sale by knowing what to say
job entails a lot of talking every day; talking to customers that
call as well as those that walk into your business. If you are like
most of us, your learning experience concentrated more on the technical
side of the business; learning how to read manuals, look up part numbers,
locate the parts on the shelf, and then write the ticket to complete
many of us, the person to person skills part of the educational experience
was little more than being told to greet each customer, answer their
questions, be polite, and perhaps that all too common, "the customer
is always right". If that is the gist of your experience, then
someone, or several people over the years have done you a tremendous
would like to see an immediate and drastic change in the amount that
you sell, then may we suggest that you read this article, and then
clip it of the magazine, and put it in a place where you can easily
and often refer to it. If you receive a bonus based upon sales, you
are going to see an improvement in your pay check. Most definitely,
you are going to experience more and more customers that are going
to ask for you by name and want to do business exclusively with you.
first mentioned, you probably have a lot of technical knowledge. That
comes from attending classes created by vendors who are providing
you and your company with annual updates to the new vehicles year
after year. When you are speaking with some installers, you find they
have as much technical knowledge as you do. With the majority of installers
and do-it-yourself customers, you are the one that has the most knowledge.
you begin to share this knowledge with your customer, you may think
that you are able to complete the sale because you have shared it
with them. Oddly enough, this is not true. People do not decide to
make a purchase because they understand. They make a purchase because
they think you understand. They purchase something because you now
know what it is they are working on, and all of the possible problems
they can run into as they are making the installation or doing the
repairs. They believe that you are genuinely interested in them and
with your technical knowledge have prepared them to solve the problem
with on their vehicle.
step is to know how to control the conversation between you and your
customer. As any conversation occurs between two people, there is
a substantial difference in the rate at which words are exchanged.
The person speaking can do so at a rate that does not exceed 150 words
per minute. The person listening is capable of hearing and understanding
500 words per minute. This means that whoever is doing the listening
is most likely having their thoughts wander. After all, they do have
plenty of spare time as their mind is capable of processing a lot
more than the person speaking can give.
Perhaps you have someone that is shopping in your business. They are
asking a lot of questions. You begin to give an answer, but within
a moment or two, you sense that the customer is not with you. Their
mind is wandering. How can you get them back with you?
to this all too frequent occurrence is that you need to stop talking.
You need to be the one controlling the conversation, and you do so
by being the one asking the questions instead of the one answering
the questions. Why did you pick this one? What happened to your old
one? What did you like most about the old one? What did you like least
about the old one?
ask these, and more questions, it is now your mind that has the free
time to wander. Except with your free time, you are thinking about
the answers the customer is giving. And with each answer you are narrowing
in on what it is that the customer really needs.
likely what the customer needs is not what they wanted. By asking
these questions, not only are you controlling the sale, you are able
to focus in on that particular product that the customer really needs
to make them happy. Perhaps you have taken many calls, or had a customer
in the shop, where the person is asking several questions. One of
the questions is, "how much?"
this happens, it is a sign that the sales person has lost control
of the situation. Not only have you lost control because it is the
customer asking the questions, instead of you asking them, but the
"how much?" question is a sure sign that the customer has
placed you on the same level as a competitor. Unfortunately, it is
a very low level as neither you or the competition have gotten the
customer to see any added value in what you do.
the questions, gaining information, and then suggesting what the customer
needs is the one sure way to make sure a customer gets the right item,
and most likely the item that is more profitable for you.
look at the situation from another standpoint. Imagine a person calling
your business and asking for a part. And then they begin to ask questions
about that part. Questions that a qualified person is going to be
able to easily answer. A ticket is written and the sale is complete.
What did you sell them?
is absolutely nothing! Nothing was sold because all we did was write
up the ticket for what the customer asked for. Think about selling
any part or accessory within your business. How many related items
can you name? If they are selecting something to install, how many
and what tools does it take to complete the installation?
are talking about parts under the hood that are being replaced, what
other parts are likely to be worn out as this part is being replaced?
What if we were to sell the customer only the part they had asked
for? They will likely call or return an hour later to ask for that
other part we just mentioned. If you say to the customer, "Oh
yeah. That happens a lot of the time. When one goes, the other is
usually not far behind it."
you done your customer a great disservice? We have caused them to
waste a lot of their time and effort. Simply because we did not take
the time to share just a little bit of that product knowledge and
experience that we have.
point. If you are looking for a quick and easy line to use with a
walk in or phone customer, look no further. "Say, have you seen
the new ...?"
is all it takes to get a conversation going. We all like to see and
know what is new. After all, that is why you look at a newspaper,
listen to the radio, or watch TV. You want to see what is new. Don't
you think that something that is new in your business is just as interesting
as that which is new in the media? Your customer does, and it is your
opportunity, as well as responsibility, to share that with them.
to make a difference? These techniques surely will. Why? Because 84%
of people state they cannot distinguish one business from another.
Your competition is probably trying to distinguish themselves with
expensive signs, or a slick advertising campaign. It is a lot easier,
less expensive, and more profitable to achieve a bigger difference
when you do so with the way you interact with your customer.