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Shane Decker: Feed Them By Hand

If everyone knows the right-hand rule, your closing ratio could increase 50 percent or more.

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THE SITUATION: YOU’VE got a customer looking at two different items. He’s undecided. “I love them both. I can only buy one of these, but I can’t make up my mind,” he says. What do you do?

The problem is that your associate has a 50/50 chance of either making the sale, or killing it. Many salespeople I’ve known will call another salesperson in at this point and ask her, “Which of these do you like best?” Their hope is that the reassurance will help the customer make up his mind and thereby close the sale.

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It’s a good instinct, but bad execution. The problem is that your associate has a 50/50 chance of either making the sale, or killing it.

I’m going to teach you an easy method for closing an undecided customer like this one. It’s called “The Right-Hand Rule.” Here are the steps:

  1. Start by asking more questions of your customer. The more you ask, the more likely he is to start leaning toward one item over another (even if he still thinks he’s undecided). Some sample questions could be: “Which one of these two is your favorite?” “What do you like best about it?” “Why do you like this one?” “I can tell by the way you’re looking at this one that you really like it.”
    You should also begin leaning toward that item in your statements and questions.
  2. Both items are on top of the counter on a beautiful counterpad with all of your professional selling tools in place. The client’s favorite item should be placed on your right-hand side.
  3. Call in one of your team members and ask her which item she likes for that customer. Your team member should then respond as to why she thinks your customer will love the one on the right.

Now you and your associate have reassured the customer in purchasing the item that they already want to buy. You’re not pulling a fast one on him. You’re helping him arrive at a decision he’s already made and have peace of mind about it.

Call in one of your team members and ask her which item she likes for that customer. If it’s a same-side sale (that is, you’re standing next to the customer on one side of the showcase), move the counter pad closer to the customer and always stand to the customer’s left. The preferred item should still be placed on the right. That puts the customer’s eyes ever so slightly more on the item he prefers, and your associate still knows to give their reassurance to that item.

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The Right-Hand Rule should be known to every associate in your store. Why? Because sometimes, the customer himself will call in another salesperson or even the store owner to give him advice. Everyone must know that the preferred item is always on the salesperson’s right. This way, you’re not setting anyone up for failure, and everyone likes the same item.

It’s easy, effective, and will increase your closing ratio by 50 percent or more.

This story is from the November 2009 edition of INSTORE.

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