The society in which we live today tells us that we have to move fast, get the current task done and move onto another one. There’s no time to talk to people about their families, last night’s game, or even the weather. I suppose that approach is conducive to productivity, but it is not conducive to building long-term relationships, and that should be the goal of every salesperson.
We’ve talked about this sort of thing a lot over the years, but it get worse every year. The good news is there are still salespeople out there doing it the right way, and that’s what I want to share with you today.
My wife and I were recently in the market for a new couch and the salesperson we worked with didn’t care about the time or the next customer. Her focus was completely on us, and she took the time to get to know us, and why we were looking for a couch. Before she even showed us one couch, she asked a series of questions that made the process much easier.
She asked how our living room was set up, where the television sits and how often we have company over. The answers to those questions gave the salesperson a better idea of what she should show us, and within 20 minutes we had a new couch.
The misconception is that taking the time to ask customers questions or engage in a non-business conversation just wastes too much time, time they could be spending selling to one or two more people. The truth is, though, asking those types of questions will actually save the salesperson time.
The salesperson we had spent ten minutes talking to us and getting an idea of what type of couch would work for us, and five minutes showing us couches before we bought. That’s a total of 15 minutes to complete a sale. If another salesperson decides to forgo the conversation and just start jumping from couch to couch, how long do you think that process is going to take? A lot longer than 15 minutes, I promise you.
We all want to make the most of the time we have and sell as much as we can, but taking the time to talk to your customers will actually save time. In addition you have established a relationship that will likely lead to a repeat customer.
Time is important but relationships are timeless. Pay more attention to the head and the heart and you will get what is in the wallet!
FINAO – Brad Huisken