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This is typically when we find out
whether the customer is looking for a
specific product or isn’t sure what he or
she wants or needs. Yet, in an
indeterminate way customers seem ready
to part with some of their money. It’s
especially helpful in this case if the
chemistry is right. That’s why good
salespeople always send out the signal,
“We are here to serve you," rather than
condescendingly fixing their gaze on the
potential customer with raised eyebrows.
In this context we should also guard
against premature conclusions drawn
from the prospective customer’s
appearance: any jacket, no matter how
shabby it looks, may hide an American
Express Gold Card. Also, never respond
arrogantly to browsing children. They
might be the prosperous customers of
tomorrow and often have well-to-do
parents or grandparents.
In principal, customers already
have everything they need. Their
wardrobes and shelves are full.
Thus, people entering a shop
often don’t know what they need or
want, unless the only vase they own is
broken or their shoes are worn out.
From this point of view, shopping is
probably the most underrated
cultural technique of our day. Like
a passionate embrace, a purchase
requires the right stimulation.
Customers want to be seduced,
feel comfortable and feel in
control of the situation.
Successful salespeople know
that. They listen proactively, let
the customer talk and confirm
with a nod that their statement
As a matter of principle, it’s
important to forego any personal
debate because discussions won are
often sales lost. Customers need to like
and have faith in the salesperson in order
to buy. In this respect, politeness is of
paramount importance, and a little
flattery here and there will do no harm.
Perfect salespeople are likeable and
totally convinced of their wares. They get
personally involved but don’t take
anything personally. Good salespeople
can do without their own unique
appearance: they prefer to sport an
inconspicuous look because anyone who
looks noticeably better than a customer
has usually lost.
Selling is a job where you need to be
on your feet literally and figuratively.
Salespeople have to focus on one single
goal, like archers on the closing. You
can’t take precise aim with an arrow from
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