Selling is Like Rocket Science Until You Do These 2 Things Well

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Thu, Mar 31, 2011 @ 08:03 AM

sofaWe were in the designer furniture store where everything is made to order, takes 8-12 weeks and the price of a chair starts at $2,500 US.  I was reading my Kindle when a woman walked in and began admiring one particular sofa.

A salesperson walked up to her and you'll never guess what he asked...  Believe it or not he asked, "Can I help you?"  I cringe whenver I hear that question but that's an article for another day. 

Of course the only possible answer she could respond with was, "Just looking."

Crucial point #1 - he could have approached her and introduced himself, learned her first name and asked why she came in today?  He could have asked what she liked about the sofa she was admiring.  He could have asked if she was hoping to find a sofa.  What he did ask could just as well have been,  "Ignore me because I'm a mindless robot who doesn't respect you or care enough about you or your potential business to make it seem like you are important."

Next, he said, "We just got some outdoor furniture in over here!"  Huh?  Outdoor furniture?  She's falling in love with a sofa and he's pulling her away to look at outdoor furniture?

She ignored him.

He's not stupid.  No, he's a moron and tried again.  "We have some really good deals on the outdoor furniture...."

She ignored a second time.  Good for her!

He walked away.  He was done!  Rejected.  He gave up.  Wasn't that easy?

Then her husband walked in and asked, "Did you find anything?"

She said, "I love this sofa but I can't find anyone to sell it to me..."

Selling isn't rocket science but it seems like rocket science until you learn to do two things really well:

  1. Listen.
  2. Ask questions that will get specific desired responses.

The furniture salesperson (yikes!) got the responses that his questions should have elicited.  Too bad.  The sofas started at $6,500!

Topics: Dave Kurlan, retail sales, asking questions, sales 101, listening skills

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Best-Selling Author, Keynote Speaker and Sales Thought Leader.  Dave Kurlan's Understanding the Sales Force Blog earned a medal for the Top Sales & Marketing Blog award for six consecutive years. This article earned a Bronze Medal for Top Sales Blog post in 2016, this one earned a Silver medal for 2017, and this article earned Silver for 2018. Read more about Dave.

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