When talking with your clients, it’s crucial that you hear what they are actually saying; to do otherwise can cause your customer to become frustrated. In most cases, a frustrated customer does not buy.
I recently decided to make a purchase for my home. I can tell that the salesman was intent on following his pre-written script. But what he didn’t realize was that I had already done my research. I knew that the company was offering a high quality product that would more than meet my need. But the salesman stuck to the pre-written script so much that I could tell he was not hearing what I as actually saying. I was starting to get frustrated. Here’s where he went wrong. He assumed:
That I was not familiar with the product.
- I had already used this type of product in another home so I knew that it would solve my current problem
That I was not familiar with their credentials.
- I am well aware of what the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval means as well as a BBB rating.
That I was unable to pay without financing.
- I had already looked at the budget and decided that this would be a cash purchase based upon what I had estimated the product would cost.
During the course of the presentation, the salesman mentioned that he could give me a discount if a decision to purchase was made immediately. I thought, “Well that’s good to know”. But when he provided a quote, the discount was not included. I asked about it and the discount was subtracted from the total price. Then the salesman started talking about financing options again. Now, I’m working really hard not to get irritated with an otherwise decent salesman trying to sell me an outstanding product. So, in my best President Obama voice I said “Let me be clear, this will be a cash purchase”. Finally he got the message and closed the sale.
Related: Practice Active Listening
Here’s the bottom line. Having a pre-written script can be a great tool for you and your sales force but it should only be a guideline. If you stick to a script, you may not hear what your customer is actually saying. A better strategy is to practice active listening. This will help you discover what people actually like about your products as well as learn some areas where you can improve. So, scripts are fine but don’t be so rigid that you begin to lose customers.
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