Saturday, August 09, 2014

How to almost lose a sale.

I need to better manage my expectations of 'other' shops. 

As of late, I've stepped foot, while traveling, into many 'concept' and 'elite' stores. Yes I'm that shopper. Quite, confident, friendly and been selling SOMETHING to the public since age 18 so I've seen every approach in the book. 

With the rise of Dealer Camps, training schools, mass Kool-Aid pouring seminars, I fantasize that shop employees who attend these training sessions, are honing the art of The Experience instead of How To Sell More of Widget ABC. Nope. 

Keeping an open mind while shopping for a bike for my brother-in-law, I'm at one of the big brand owned shops. I'd like to start him on a bike that's one size smaller than what he needs for the sake of having a comfortable spin in the parking lot and not feeling too 'tippy'. It's been over 10 years since he has thrown a leg over a bike. 

A flat bar hybrid for my man. I'm intercepted by a shop guy who insists that bike is way too small and needs to be on a bigger one. I explain why we are doing what we are doing and request a test ride on it. 

We get outside and the shop guy raises the seat to the proper height and states, 'this is way too much seat post sticking out of the bike'. I chuckle inside thinking, 'Dude, you should see my bike.' 'You only want about 6 inches sticking out of the frame.', he blurts out. ------Insert joke about men and what they think 6 inches really looks like----



My guy pushes off for a ride in the parking lot and the shop guy comes over to me and states, 'I've been working 30 years in the bike shops and I know what size he needs!' I reply in my best Samuel L. Jackson/ Pulp Fiction verbal cadence, 'This test ride is about the experience, HIS experience because he's been off the bike for awhile. And if you're gonna play THAT card about working in a shop, I work in the industry as a rep for Bianchi. Now look what you made me do, you made me play that card too, huh!' 

Shop guy throttles back. 'oh...' he replies and my guy comes back from the quick spin. Now let's get the 20 inch frame for him and some accessories.

How hard is it for people who work in sales, to dissect the sale process? Listen to what is being said by the consumer (today is was the two of us), analyze the reactions of the consumers, and find their pain. 

The sale process isn't about the goods and textbook data you are fed. Nothing good ever comes from closing the sale quicker, it's about the experience. To be a better salesperson, it requires less talking and more listening. But I digress.

At least today I had a rad bike ride with my brother-in-law and his new bike. Welcome back to the club, man.


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