This had to be one of the strangest sales experiences I’ve had.
Barbara and I were walking back to our car in a major shopping centre when we were accosted by a young chap wearing a car valet’s uniform, carrying a spray can, who thrust a laminated card at me, then made small talk while walking with us.
On arrival he sprayed the driver’s side window and wiped it off.
“Look at how clean the window becomes. Water will bead off for up to 6 weeks and you can’t leave fingerprints. Same for the paintwork. Great product, isn’t it?”
He then started to walk off, laminated card in hand.
“Hang on, where would I buy this?”, I called to his retreating back. “Oh, back in the car wash area”.
Bugger that. We got in and drove out seeing him accost the next person.
“What was the name of that product?” “I have no idea!”
This was a classic case of a bright young man making some dumb, rookie sales mistakes. Mistakes which could have so easily been avoided if he’d been trained and used a proven sales structure.
I’ll start with the mistakes (although they should be pretty obvious).
He assumed we had time to chat with him and get a demonstration. We weren’t in a hurry that day, but there’ve been plenty of times when we were.
He didn’t tell us what the product was, how it worked, what it could do for me, what it was called or even how much it was.
The laminated card was dark type on dark background in a dark carpark. I’m distracted watching him spray, wipe off and chatter. So I never even looked at the card.
Window cleaned, he walked off without even telling me what the product was called or what it cost.
So what should he have done instead?
Following our time tested and proven formula of Why, What, How and Ultimate Outcome he could have asked…
Start with pain – the why should I listen to him.
“Do you like washing your car?”“Err – no!”
“Would you like to have dirt just slide off so you don’t have to wash it as often?” “In rain would you like to have your windows repel water giving you better visibility?”
“This product acts like an invisible protection barrier – both on your paintwork and windows so dirt and water don’t stick. And a lot of our clients love it as you can’t leave fingerprint marks on the paint.”
The how – The demonstration (which he did)
The ultimate outcome or what if – We could see it. He could have told us a can would last up to a year if we only used it for windows. $30 to $40 would have been value for money. Barbara later commented we could have used it for some of the house windows which get splattered when it rains. All reasons to buy.
Ask for the order! Ask us if we’d like to buy a can! And have a new one in his pocket with a way to pay for it right then and there.
And assuming I didn’t, have a flyer which I could take away so I at least knew what it was and could buy it next time or online.
The tragedy with this situation is everyone loses.
He lost out on a sale. His employer lost out on revenue (both from the sale and the hourly rate he’s probably paying this chap). We lost out by not being able to buy a useful product. All due to a complete lack of training from his employer!
Let me conclude with this…
Selling is the most important activity in any business. Barr none. Nothing happens till a sale is made.
So you have to wonder why it’s such a neglected topic in many small businesses!
Selling is never an ad hoc process. All successful sales people follow a structure they control through asking appropriate questions and taking the prospect on a journey from initial interest to an order. Your prospect provides the content within that structure.
If you’d like to improve your sales revenue by learning and applying our structure, drop me a line.