Connect with us

Eileen McClelland

The Story of a Failed Sale

Published

on

My brother, Sean, and I ventured into a chain furniture store today, scouting out couches for my mom. Her current 30-year-old leather couch has seen much better days; it’s currently duct-taped, in fact, because it’s cracking. In other words, she really does need a couch.

So, I walked in and said hello to a couple of staff members sitting at a desk near the door, and we struck off on our own, starting to looking around.

Sean and I were sitting on a $600 couch when our assigned sales person made her first approach, grimly waving a flier that explained how we could finance this relatively inexpensive couch in question without a finance charge, for 24 months. This seemed like an abrupt and unwise introduction to me! We had discussed nothing at all yet; was financing her only strategy? Why was it her first strategy? Did we look insolvent?

Shouldn’t financing be a way to overcome objections, once financial objections are identified?

When I appeared unimpressed by her financing offer (I folded it up and stuck it in my purse), she then asked some version of “What are you looking for” today?

It sounded transactional, not conversational, a tone that persisted.

Advertisement

I explained that my brother and I had just come in because we needed somewhere to sit.

She didn’t crack a smile.

She did ask my name and tried to use it later, but got it wrong.

I asked about how the couch was made and she said it was spring-tied, creating a “trampoline” effect, which could vault the occupant out of her seat quite easily. That sounded funny to me, and so I laughed and said, “Oh, perfect, my mother is a former gymnast!”

Again, no smile. No effort to establish rapport. She did ask how large a person my mother is. Tall? Short? Big? Small?

I conceded that she is petite.

Advertisement

I told her I liked the style of the couch but wasn’t crazy about the nailhead trim.

She said there were couches with more modern styling on the other side of the store.

So my brother and I wandered off over there.

When my mom joined us she thought the fabric colors I had liked were too light, so I found a couple more options she liked better, and asked our sales person if she could write down the style names and dimensions of the ones we liked.

She said we could buy it today — right now, in fact — and cancel the order in 24 hours if it wouldn’t fit in the space. I couldn’t understand why that would be an advantage over waiting to see if it would actually fit.

Regardless, she never smiled. I never felt a connection.

Advertisement

Those two sentences tell the whole story of a failed sale.

The topic of INSTORE’s Big Story for January 2016 will be how to build a better sales person in six months. Any suggestions? Please contact me at [email protected]

Eileen McClelland is the Managing Editor of INSTORE. She believes that every jewelry store has the power of cool within them.

Advertisement

SPONSORED VIDEO

Wilkerson Testimonials

Wilkerson Helped This Jeweler to Navigate His Retirement Sale Despite a Pandemic

Hosting a going-out-of-business sale when the coronavirus pandemic hit wasn’t a part of Bob Smith’s game plan for his retirement. Smith, the owner of E.M. Smith Jewelers in Chillicothe, Ohio, says the governor closed the state mid-way through. But Smith chose Wilkerson, and Wilkerson handled it like a champ, says Smith. And when it was time for the state to reopen, the sale continued like nothing had ever happened. “I’d recommend Wilkerson,” he says. “They do business the way we do business.”

Promoted Headlines

Advertisement

Advertisement

Advertisement

Subscribe


BULLETINS

INSTORE helps you become a better jeweler
with the biggest daily news headlines and useful tips.
(Mailed 5x per week.)

Latest Comments

Most Popular