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Shane Decker: Find The Truth Behind The ‘No’

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What would happen if police detectives gave up on a case just because their first lead didn’t pan out?

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Find The Truth Behind The ‘No’

What would happen if police detectives gave up on a case just because their first lead didn’t pan out? We’d have a lot more criminals roaming our streets. The great detectives know that the solution is out there, and it just takes asking the right questions to uncover it.

Just because your customer doesn’t whip out his wallet when you ask, it doesn’t mean it’s time to quit. Sometimes, being a good jewelry salesperson means being a great detective.

After all, there will be times when you make your presentation correctly, you romance the product, you close all the way through, and yet when you ask for the sale, the customer says, “No.” Now, studies tell us that about 60 percent of customers say “yes” after saying “no” four times. Yet most salespeople give up after a single “no.”

Just because your customer doesn’t whip out his wallet when you ask, it doesn’t mean it’s time to quit. It also doesn’t mean you should be pushy or condescending. The key is to be professionally persistent, and find the truth behind the objection.

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Think of it as a game of “20 Questions” — only you won’t need nearly that many, in most cases. Your goal is to pinpoint whether the problem is: a) the price, b) the product, or c) something else you haven’t adequately answered. The conversation should go something like this:

YOU: “Are you happy with this price?” 
CUSTOMER: “Yes.” 

Pause. (This gives the customer an opportunity to let this sink in.)

YOU:
“Do you want a bigger one?” 
CUSTOMER: “Oh, no, this one looks great!” 

(Asking if he or she wants a bigger diamond is flattering, in that you think they can afford it.)

YOU: “Is this what you had in mind?”

If the customer says, “Yes, but I was hoping to pay less,” then you can reply that you can insert a smaller diamond into the mounting and the price will be lower. The customer may respond, “Oh no, I want this one,” to which you would reply that the price of this item is the price that you previously stated. This reestablishes the integrity of your store and your pricing.

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If the customer says that the item is indeed what he or she had in mind, you should then ask, “Do you have any questions I haven’t answered?”

At this point, your customer should tell you the problem. Remember, he or she didn’t stand there for 30 minutes without an intent to buy. If the customer is still reluctant to answer you, ask this: “If you’re comfortable with the price, this item is what you had in mind, and you don’t have any questions, then what do we still need to discuss?”

Sometimes, a customer just needs the reassurance that he is doing the right thing. Sometimes, a customer just needs the reassurance that he is doing the right thing. By asking these questions, he may come to realize he is happy with the price and the item. At worst, you will be able to better address his concerns.

It’s possible the customer still won’t be forthcoming with their reasons. If that’s the case, T.O. the sale to a team member — but only do so once. Ideally, you would call in the owner. Often, all the owner has to say is how much she loves the item in question, and how happy the customer (or his significant other) will be with it. Reassurance from the owner, who they perceive to be the ultimate authority on jewelry, can often tip the scales.

So, never resign from the case just because a customer says “no.” Keep searching for clues, offer reassurance, and you’ll find that most customers will walk out happily with the jewelry of their dreams.

Shane Decker has provided sales training for more than 3,000 stores worldwide. Contact him at (317) 535-8676 or at ex-sell-ence.com.

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This story is from the November 2008 edition of INSTORE.

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