You’ve established a rapport with your customer, you’ve asked plenty of good probing questions and now it’s time for a demonstration. It’s time to show the customer merchandise that is most likely to satisfy their wants and needs.
So which items do you show when you have a vast selection from which to choose?
Let’s say there’s been no conversation about price. You were able to get a pretty good idea of what the customer was looking for, but they didn’t say they were on a tight budget—and they didn’t say they weren’t. Do you go for items in the moderate price category? Or do you treat them to a taste of la créme de la créme?
For some reason, many salespeople hesitate to show their best merchandise. Perhaps they feel it’s too bold or too forward to show merchandise that is well above average in terms of price and/or quality. Some salespeople wait for a signal as subtle as a fire alarm to alert them to the fact that they’re assisting a customer who will settle for nothing less than top-of-the-line goods.
- We are absolutely responsible for assessing the customer’s needs and helping them to find the merchandise that perfectly suits them.
- We are not responsible for deciding whether they will buy our good merchandise or our best merchandise, That’s up to the customer!
Demonstrating your better or best merchandise always makes sense
One who insists upon buying only the best will appreciate your perceptiveness, and one who hasn’t been introduced to the finer things may enjoy the experience. They may learn something that causes them to value better merchandise and have something to aspire to—or something great to treat themselves to right away. Who knows? There’s only one way to find out: give all of your customers the pleasure of taking a closer look at the best merchandise you have to offer.
Sometimes salespeople feel uncomfortable showing or suggesting merchandise that they themselves find extravagant or expensive. If you feel like you’re handling the crown jewels when you show certain items, present them as if they are the crown jewels! Use your sense of awe to convey enthusiasm and respect for the features that make the merchandise special. And if the customer asks about price, quote the price as if it’s a wonderful feature, not a drawback.
Never apologize for prices!
Remember, some customers won’t blink at prices that make you shudder, while others will gasp at prices that you think are very low. Whatever the case, don’t let your opinion get in the way of making a great sale.
Another great technique for showing your customers your finest merchandise is the “let’s have some fun” technique. When it’s time to begin showing merchandise, say to your customer “Based on what you’ve told me, I have a few things to show you that I think you’ll really like, and there’s one thing that I especially want you to see. Would you like to have some fun?” Proceed to tell them that this particular item is the best of the best and that you couldn’t imagine passing up the opportunity to let them take a look—even if it’s just for fun. This is a very safe, non-threatening way to give your customers a chance to see—and perhaps own—your most valuable merchandise.
Finally, always keep in mind that some customers enjoy spending a lot of money! They like the fact that they can buy things that the average person can’t afford on a whim. The very fact that they can buy whatever they want actually makes higher-priced merchandise more appealing to them.
So remember, THINK BIG! Don’t deny your customers the pleasure of admiring or owning very fine things, and don’t deny yourself the rewards of selling the best.
-Harry J Friedman
Founder/CEO, The Friedman Group