You need one of those WHATCHAMACALLITS that Amazon Prime either doesn't deliver or can't get to you in time because you can never get those THINGAMABOPS in time because they always break or get misplaced at the worst possible time.
(It's why your smoke detector's battery always goes out at 2 am instead of 2 pm, but I digress.)
So you get dressed and leave the comforts of your home to shop...at an actual store...with other people...including salespeople (we are people...right?) to acquire this emergency DOOMAFLITCHY.
But hey, it could be furniture or a new computer or even a book that you want to touch or flip through or click or test drive before you order.
As you step onto the property you see the salesman who sees you.
His posture straightens.
He flicks his cigarette to the ground.
He puts a little giddy-up into his get-up-and-go and makes a straight line to intersect with your path, picking up his pace as he approaches, never once breaking eye contact as his toothy, pearly'ish, slightly-tar-stained whites brightens his face.
At the final moment, he throws out his paw and utters those words you were so looking forward to hearing...
Hi, how can I help you?"
Being the kind, caring, honest person your parents raised you to be you respond as we all do,
Oh, I'm just looking."
And so the dance begins.
It's a slow dance.
It's a two-step done to a waltz.
It hurts you both as a consumer and the professional salesperson that you are.
It hurts you because it could've been avoided if he had only taken the time to read this post.
Learning just one or two simple but unique ways to open the conversation could easily, predictably, and effectively build sales momentum in his favor. (He needs a sales dog., but I digress...a little.)
This is unfortunate because according to a 2014 study by Deloitte, the knowledge of a store's salesperson was the #1 feature that can influence a sale.
But when the salesperson acts like every other salesperson, you, the buyer, put up your defenses and do not engage because you've been burned in the past by aggressive, unethical salespeople.
It doesn't have to be that way if you do just three simple things:
- Remember that you only get one chance to make that first impression.
- Use a different, yet effective opening.
- Understand that our feelings drive our fondness for you, the salesperson.
So how can you open better to make that great first impression and begin creating a feeling of fondness in the hearts and minds of your prospects?
Like any sales or marketing effort, you need to get the attention of your prospective customer, and you do that by surprising Broca.
In other words, you write or say something that is unexpected.
When your customer doesn't expect the question, they won't give you their prepared, reactionary, expected answer, i.e.
Hi, may I help you?" "No, just looking."
Instead, try something such as:
- "Welcome to Wes's Ford-Lincoln. What brings you in today?"
- "Hi. Welcome to Wes's Office Supply. Is this your first time visiting us?
- "Welcome to Wes's Furniture. Are you just gathering information or do you plan on making a decision today?"
Jokes are funny—and effective—because they have a surprise ending.
Your openings are effective for the same reason.
But, Wes, that's a script. It feels unnatural. I like to go with the flow. Feel things out. Let my personality show."
The ironic thing is when you have an opening that works you will be more relaxed when you meet a prospect because you won't be worried about what to say or how to act.
The difference between rookies and pros is that pros take the time to practice, drill, rehearse, and map out their performances.
It can be done alone...if you have a lot of time, patience, persistence, and pig-headed determination. Or you can invest in a proven shortcut.
Market like you mean it.
Now go sell something.