Opening and Closing the Sale
Ask Questions, Listen, Be Persistent
Posted by Adam Hayes
Asking questions, listening, and being persistent can help you open and close more sales.
Recently, my monitor blew up. Sparks, terrible smell, and then POOF. Darkness. I hurried and set up my "back up monitor", a dinky little monitor I have setting around for testing broken computers. It became quickly apparent that I needed to go buy a new monitor, and quickly if I was going to get any substantial work done. I did some quick research on the web and came up with exactly what I wanted. So I jumped in the car to go see if the local stores had the model I wanted.
At the first place I stopped the sales person hardly spoke English. I felt like I was calling the Dell support line. I explained over and over what I wanted: my specific requirements, size, resolution, etc. She walked all through the store and she didn't have one at all. I resorted to pulling up the actual online ad (from their online store) where the product was shown for sale. She simply said, "We don't have one here" and walked away.
At the second place I stopped the sales person quickly ran up to me after I was looking at a couple of models that were what I was looking for. He began into a canned speech about how I should buy the "extra" warranty from their company. Unfortunately, he never asked me a question. He just tried to push his agenda with the warranty.
When I was finally able to get a word in edgewise, I told him the extra warranties are pieces of junk and not worth the money, and that I was not interested at all in the extra warranty. I told him that I had found this same model online for $200 cheaper. He said he'd go talk to his manager. He came back and said that if I buy the "extra warranty" they might be able to lower the price a bit. I again explained that extra warranties are pieces of junk and not worth the paper they are written on. I left. As I was leaving, I saw him approach another customer and start right into his canned extra warranty speech.
Neither of these sales people asked me any questions. If they had asked, they would have realized that I really needed a monitor, and quickly. They would have found out that I was willing to pay extra to get one in if it would be in within 2 days. The first one didn't try seeing if one of the other stores in the area had the model I was looking for; she didn't see if there were any other comparable products that she could order and have in a few days.
The second salesperson failed to listen to what I was saying. The only thing on his mind was "extra warranty". They actually had the product I wanted but it was priced to highly. If they had even lowered the price $50, I probably would have bought it from them instead of ordering online, so I could have it that day.
The end result was that I didn't buy from either of these two and they missed all commission from the sales. If they had just asked questions, listened to my answers and then been persistent enough to try to close the sale, they would have had a new satisfied customer. Now, I'll just not even waste my gas to go to those stores, I'll just order online.
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