Pay Attention to Details

Selling is like an espionage game. If you want to sell something to someone, you should find out all you can about that person. Write down his name, address, and phone number, along with whatever information you picked up about them in your conversation. Where he works, how many kids they have, hobbies, and what he drives. The more you understand about your prospect’s needs and wants, the better equipped you’ll be to provide them with the right solution and product!  Of course, the effectiveness of the selling depends upon the homework you’ve done. Nothing beats knowing exactly what your prospect’s problems and needs are—and having solutions for them.

Truly outstanding salespeople are all excellent listeners and know what questions to ask to find the right product for their customer. The purpose of these questions is to investigate the needs of the prospect and to get a conversation going. Of course, what he tells you will help you determine the direction of your sales presentation. What the customer wants may not be something he’ll be happy with or can afford. I listen to what a customer says he wants, and I try to give it to him. But if I think it won’t work for him or that he can’t afford it, then I make up my own mind. You don’t try very hard to sell a man a two-seat sports car if he has a wife and four kids.

So, how do I know what to try to sell a customer? I look and I listen and I ask. What I look and listen for are things that will open him up, get him talking, so that he will tell me about himself, his needs, and his ability to pay. An experienced salesman can read a customer. If you pay attention to details you can learn a lot! I can walk around and look inside a person’s car and tell you everything about it and about its owner. So you’re playing a game with the customer, trying to find out what’s best for him no matter what he says. Because what’s best for him is best for you, if you want him to speak well of you and come back some day for another one!

That’s why I like to think of this part of the selling job as espionage and intelligence. I want to know what the customer wants to do and what he ought to do and what he can afford to do. I know when the customer is relaxing, because I read his body language. I watch his face, his eyes and the way he holds his arms. While all of this is going on, I am finding out what he needs and what he can be sold. We all know that you can’t sell them all. But the commonest reason for losing a customer who seemed really interested is not listening enough. Let him offer you the clues to his hesitation and reluctance. You can learn a lot more by watching and listening than you can by talking. Let the customer reveal himself, while you watch and listen, and he’ll lay himself open for the close.