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Feb 10

What Kills a Sale?

Posted by: Steve Marr

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When we try to make a sell, we can say more than necessary to move the customer toward saying yes and signing the order. However, every time we utter a phrase or a sentence to a prospect; we need to put ourselves in the customer’s position. The first thing our customer thinks should not be, “So what?” 

For example, I may say that my company has the best service; but if I haven’t said anything to prove this statement, the prospect may think, “So what?”  A furniture store salesperson may talk about how good the fabric on a chair is.  Again, the customer may think, “So what?” The salesperson’s job is to answer the “so what” question for every feature or benefit we point out to a customer. A customer may not care what type of fabric is on the chair, but probably cares a great deal that spills don’t become stains.


Another example comes from the damage restoration business I have an involvement in.  I may tell a customer I am certified in structural water damage remediation and have certifications in other areas as well.  The customer may look at me and think “So what?” My certifications mean little to a customer.  What is important is whether I can communicate how the problem will be resolved and how the property will be taken care of. Then, I can explain how our work represents best industry standards.

Some try to use their experience to sell to a customer by talking about their 40 years’ experience in the business. Again, the customer may think, “So what?” Besides, some people may have 40 years of true experience while others have one experience for 40 years.

King Solomon wrote, “Fools find no pleasure in understanding but delight in airing their own opinions.” (Proverbs 18:2, NIV) It is easy to focus on our point of view when selling or marketing and tell the customer what we believe the customer should hear. However, we should put our sales phrases through the customer’s filter and ask ourselves whether the customer might think, “So what?”  If so, adjust the script.


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