Have you ever been stood in line at the DMV? Or sat in a doctor’s office waiting room? Five minutes can feel like an hour. Time moves so slow in these situations and it is miserable. These situations cause us to question what ever it is that we are doing. This is the exact position that we put our customer’s in every time we leave them during the sales process.
As salespeople we walk away, thinking that we are working on the customer’s behalf and that the customer understands that. The entire time that we are away from our customers we assume everything is ok because we are off working for them. However, in reality, the customer is sitting around thinking, “What the hell is going on?”
This is not the only thing that your customer is thinking, the following will also go through their head:
- FEAR of being pressured into making a decision
- DOUBT that they are making the right decision
- SHOP you to see if they can get a better deal
- THIRD-PARTY influence about the decision, which never goes your way
- LEAVE to relieve these feelings
Any or all of these thoughts and feelings can cause you to lose your deal and your customer. So, what should you do to prevent this:
- Make sure the customer is comfortable – This is the most important stage to ensure you don’t lose your customer when you must leave them. Nothing will make the time tick by more slowly than the need to use the restroom or needing something to drink. Always make sure the customer knows where the restrooms are, offer them refreshments, and make sure they are comfortable where they are seated.
- Set the customers’ expectations – Always let the customer know what you are going to do and give them a realistic time frame that it will take. Live by the rule of over promise and over deliver!
- Third-party evidence – Before you leave your customer provide them with third-party information that will occupy this time that confirms this is the right product for them, this is the right dealership to buy from, and that you are the right person to help and service them. This is a great time to put your Evidence Manual to work. If you don’t have an Evidence Manual this lesson will help you get started. Selling Skills – The Foundation – Evidence Manual
- Build excitement in the solution you are going to provide – Always leave the customer with a power statement or ask a power question that confirms the customers’ excitement about what is going to happen next.
- Follow through with the solution as quickly possible – You know the times you are going to have to leave your customer and you also know what is going to happen during these times. BE PREPARED for them so that you can deliver the customer the next step and your solution as soon as possible.
DITTIP: If you get side-tracked or derailed to a point that you are not going to deliver on the expectations that you set, go back to the customer and reset them. You will undo everything you accomplished by setting the customers’ expectations if you fail to deliver.
You should also use setting expectations when transitioning between steps of the sale. This is a key to ensuring that your customer will follow your sales process. For more information about this, take the following lesson: The Basics – Customer Profile – Transition to the Presentation