It is official, you can know absolutely nothing about a product as long as you have the stamina to listen, provide positive reinforcement and listen some more.
I sold a truck yesterday. I had some assistance by my good friend Radek. When I didn’t think I could keep listening and watching the mock trapped animal charade, Radek stepped in and took on some of the listening. At one point I left the showroom, took a walk around the back of the dealership in hopes that the customer had given up and left or that Radek had decided to take over the sale.
That was wishful thinking.
When I got back from my 5 minute walk that included a call to my sister, Radek and my customer were hovering around my desk.
I wanted so badly for them to go away so I ignored both and started reading the newspaper online at my desk. I was doing everything except show interest in making a dollar.
Getting into the second hour of this sale, I reluctantly went back and forth between the customer and management. This simply means I became a messenger of information between two disagreeing parties that both wanted something of which neither wanted to make concessions.
What management had in their favour; they knew the customer wanted the truck and would eventually give in and buy in some capacity.
Into hour 2, management finally agreed to get involved.
At this point, I more than wanted to go home, I admit I checked out. I sat in the office with management and along with the customer and watched a boring conversation about possibilities. It took 55 minutes when the customer said “I’ll take the truck”
I woke up slightly and did my sales part, “Great sir, we’ll need a deposit to take the truck out of sale inventory and start the process of preparing it for delivery.”
“Ok, ummmm, well I have $50, here you are.” As he’s handing over .001% of what the truck is worth!
Let’s stop here for a second while I explain two important items.
First, most Saturday’s in the morning sales meetings management makes a big point about asking for a $2,000 deposit regardless of the vehicle sold; so this $50 offering was a little slap in the face. I was so tempted to take the $50 and not try for the $2,000 deposit to make a point.
Second, I have been taught to think and use my mind to make decisions. This means figuring out what the end result of each decision might be like – its a little like choose your own adventure stories. This thinking process does take me a few seconds however. One fine day this past month, management caught me spending a few seconds deciding on the best course of action and was thoroughly reprimanded. “Sales people do NOT think, they act, go and do your job!”. 🙂
So when I was offered a $50 deposit, I did what I was told not to do…I took a few seconds to think.
As mentioned earlier, I seriously considered just taking the $50 🙂 and dealing with being reprimanded but I figured it would be much more fun swiping a credit card for $2,000.
I calmly looked at the customer,”$50 would be great however you mentioned you have cash back on your Visa and you are trying to get to $600 cash back by Christmas. Let me help you out meeting that goal and let’s put $2,000 on your credit card.”
He handed over his credit card and with that I was saddled with a sale that I had desperately tried to avoid.