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Another purpose of sales is to protect the buyer. This is based on an idea in the first chapter of "Reframing" by Richard Bandler and John Grinder.
There are two applications of this. The first is if people have any negative feelings toward your profession. For example, some people are suspicious of door to door salespeople. If you buy something from a door to door salesperson you may have to deal with your friends' comments afterwards.
"How could you buy from them? They sell such junk!"
"You overpaid; they really took you for a ride."
Hearing comments like these can give the buyer second thoughts about his purchase. If the buyer will then go and advise his friends not to buy from this door to door salesperson that means a loss in clients and in sales.
One way to deal with this is to anticipate the problem right up front. Tell the client:
"I know that door to door salespeople have a reputation for overcharging or for selling merchandise of inferior quality. It is very important to me that you are 100% satisfied with your purchase. I want you to feel confident that you have made the correct decision. If you want to shop around and compare, or if you just need more time to think it over, that is fine with me. If you have any reservations I will tear up the contract with no obligation to you."
This way you are protecting the customer (as well as yourself). It is unlikely that the purchaser will have buyer's remorse when friends make negative comments. Instead the buyer will be thinking "the sales person told me this would happen." The negative comments were neutralized from the outset.
Even though this approach may cause a loss of a small number of sales, it results in many referrals from satisfied customers and ultimately a lot more sales. And, it is certainly a lot more ethical.
Give it a try! You will need to know if people view your profession negatively in any way. If you do not know, find this out. Then simply apply the formula as above. As always, it is good to practise and get feedback. This is especially true if you have been bulldozing your customers into buying; this is a radically different approach.
Please email me your personal experiences relating to this article.