I am in Hong Kong and have just been invited to attend Swiss Bank’s annual gala. I immediately start panicking. ‘What am I going to wear?’ I keep asking myself. It was my first time attending such an event in Asia and I, like you, love to make a great first impression.
I call my best friend Ping Yin for advice. She says, ‘I don’t know… What will the other women there be wearing?’ I find her answer unhelpful. How do I know what they are going to be wearing that night?
At the first chanceI get, I ask my (then) husband, ‘What do you think I should I wear to go to the gala?’ and he tells me to go shop around. Not helpful either.
Have you ever been in a situation where you didn’t get the help you needed?
I decide to go shopping by myself in Central (a downtown area in Hong Kong). I walk inside a Prada store. Looking at the garments hanging pretty around me, I feel out of place. Maybe because I am wearing blue jeans and a t-shirt?
One of the salespersons eyes me from head to toe. I can see her lips drawing tighter together as she turns her head and resolutely walks away from me. Maybe she thinks I am the ‘wrong’ type of customer?
Feeling more insecure than ever (I wasn’t the woman I am now), I slowly walk up to another salesperson and in a low voice ask for help choosing an evening gown for a gala in town. She has one look at me and answers, “Good luck finding one your size.” With kind of a smirk on her face, she ‘apologizes’ saying their store caters more to Asian petite women than white curvy Amazons. I walk out, feeling more dejected than ever.
Can you imagine what it feels like, Not getting the service you deserve?
The next day, I tell my friend Ping Yin what happened at the Prada store. She utters, “Nonsense! Come with me!” Maybe now is a good time to tell you that Ping Yin was then married to the heir to one of the British business moguls in Hong Kong.
Ping Yin walks into the Prada store with me. She pushes me in front of a salesperson. “You see her? This is my friend. Treat her nice!” The salesperson, dumbfounded by what was going on here, but apparently knowing who Ping Yin was, simply answered, “Of course, Mrs. Murray.”
Let stop here for a moment…
What makes a buyer a great prospect for a salesperson?
I believe, when the answer is yes to the following three questions:
#1. Do they have budget?
#2. Do they have intent to buy?
#3. Do they have a need to fulfill?
In my case, the answer was yes to each question.
So let me ask you…
Why do we fail at closing sales?
Why do we pursue wanting to be ‘right’ instead of closing more sales?
I believe the answer is, because we think we ‘know’ what the customer needs better than themselves.
Is it though? How was the salesperson at the Prada store ever going to get me to buy an evening gown if she kept pinning me as a non-buyer?
Clearly, wanting to be ‘right’ does Not work.
With this in mind…
How do things become better?
I believe, things become better when we focus on
becoming genuinely curious. ‘What is needed right now?’
becoming intentional. ‘What can I do right now to ensure customer satisfaction?’
becoming accountable. ‘How can I hold myself accountable so each customer feels cared for?
Let’s pretend you are now Amazon’s Search Engine and I am coming online to buy an evening gown…
Here is what you can learn from Amazon about successful selling:
Ask, “What do you need right now?”. Listen to the answer. On Amazon, I might type in something like ‘dress’. How many thousands of dress choices do you believe I am going to get? Therefore, as a salesperson, assist your customer in becoming more and more specific about their needs.
Ask Again, “What do you need right now?” Listen to the answer. On Amazon, I might now type in something like “evening gown”. This will most likely leave me with hundreds of choices instead of thousands. As a salesperson, always build on your customer’s last answer. (Note: Amazon doesn’t care if I am wearing jeans and a t-shirt when buying an evening gown.)
Ask Again, “What do you need right now?” Listen to the answer. On Amazon, I will now need to choose a style and colour for my evening gown. As a salesperson, assist your customer in becoming more specific; always build on your customer’s last answer. (Note: Amazon doesn’t care whether I am a white curvy Amazon or an Asian petite woman.)
Ask Again, “What do you need right now?” Listen to the answer. On Amazon, I will now need to type in my size. (Note: Amazon never turns its head away, rolls its eyes, or make snide remarks about a person’s size. AMAZON ALWAYS LISTENS. As a salesperson, always listen to the customer’s answers and build upon them.
Ask Again, “What do you need right now?” Listen to the answer. On Amazon, I will now need to proceed to checkout. (Note: Upon entering their website, Amazon never judges if a person can afford or not an evening gown. If a sale goes through, great! If a sale doesn’t go through, Amazon Asks Again, “What do you need right now?” and it always listens to their customer’s answers.
What Makes Amazon Successful at Selling?
Amazon is CUSTOMER DRIVEN.
Amazon ALWAYS LISTENS.
Now imagine a salesperson has just read these tips…
What do you believe will be their greatest challenge(s)?
My name is Anne Beaulieu and I am an Emotional Intelligence Coach who assists salespeople understand that men and women buy from the people they know, like, and trust. And if you are like me, you will close more sales because you will let the customer do most of the talking while you genuinely listen to them telling you about their needs.
To schedule a free 15 minutes E.I. coaching session where I assist you discover what it is you really want, follow the easy instructions at https://meetme.so/AnneBeaulieu
Your Emotional Intelligence Coach,