A Sales Tip: From no to know to yes


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Here is a Keep It Successfully Simple sales tip you’ll want to share with your entire team.

When I was in high school I worked in a store similar to Target. I had a big crush on one of my co-workers, Shelly. For months I struggled to muster the courage to ask her out. I was so worried about her saying no I couldn’t bring myself to even ask the question.

Finally, I worked up the nerve to ask her out. We were straightening up an aisle together and I asked, “Would you like to go out to a movie or maybe dinner this Friday night?” There was a long pause before she responded, “No.” My worst fears had come true.

At that point I panicked, mumbled something about needing to find an item in the back room, and bolted. I spent the rest of the night avoiding her. A day or two later we worked the same shift again. She walked right up to me and said, “You didn’t give me a chance to finish. I was trying to tell you that I couldn’t go out Friday night, but I am available on Saturday night.”

As my teenage daughters would say, that was awkward. I heard Shelly say “no” and immediately reacted. But her “no” and my “no” were not the same. I didn’t know what her “no” meant.

I see the same thing happen in stores. When a customer says “no” to a product we show or suggest, we immediately start ringing up the sale, or ask them to let us know if they have any questions. We react to the “no” without even understanding what it means.

“No” rarely means the end of either the sale or the conversation. There’s always some thinking or motivation behind the word. With Shelly, “no” just meant she wasn’t available on Friday.

A customer’s no can mean many things:

* No to that particular product

* No to that style or color

* I need more information

* I need to see something else

* I haven’t seen the right thing yet

* I don’t know

And the list goes on. That’s why it is important to know more about the “no.” Always ask a follow-up question to better understand why your customer said no. What does he like, and not like, about a product? Is there a different color or style she prefers? What was he looking for that’s different from this product?

So consider this: “No” very rarely means “leave me alone.” It means the customer actually needs your help and expertise. Don’t take no as a rejection, but as a sign to learn more. I like to say, you can move from NO to KNOW to YES with a simple follow-up.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Doug Fleener
As the former director of retail for Bose Corporation and an independent retailer himself, Doug has the unique experience and ability to help companies of all sizes. Doug is a retail and customer experience consultant, keynote speaker and a recognized expert worldwide.


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