Confidence boosting details can be found in this episode. Training in our industry leaves out a LOT of details! There’s great information from authors like Tom Hopkins and Brian Tracy. However, sometimes we sales people need more practical help. The right approach when you walk in a business will pave the way for making the sale. I’ll give plain and simple details for a good foundation which propels you into the sales process.
Recently I was working in the field. I realized again how much there is to know just about walking into a business! Do you interrupt if there are customers in the store? Do you just stand around or stalk the manager? When one customer leaves, should you let the customer behind you step forward? What do you do? I’d be the first to admit I have many weaknesses. But walking into a business is not one of them! I’ve walked into roughly 150 businesses in the last week. Not one of them has asked me to leave or even been negative. Here are some details which will help you get that same success rate.
#1. ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS walk into a business like a customer. Get yourself in the mindset of a customer. The first thing you say should ALWAYS be something a customer would say. This is an example of a small detail which makes a big difference! Walk in and begin looking. The manager will think you are a potential customer. He/she will want to come to you to sell products or services. This is preferable to the manager mindset which is produced by walking confidently right up to the counter. Usually I don’t carry anything when I walk in. I have one hand in my pocket where my business cards are kept.
Most often I wait until the manager speaks to me, usually asking, “Can I help you with something?” My response is ALWAYS the same, “Wow! This is really a nice place. I didn’t even realize this was here. I don’t think I’ve ever been in here before. How long have you guys been in business?” I start with something a customer would say. This begins a little rapport with the manager before I even get out a business card. For the manager to switch gears from that to “Get out of here. We don’t want anything” is very difficult. We might engage in small talk for ten seconds. Then I transition right into me.
“Well, I actually just have a really quick question for you.” [Response] “I have a business right downtown here in Altoona.” I talk about that and then, “I just wanted to stop by and drop off my business card.” I hand them a business card and continue with the rest of my pitch [including the “quick question.”]
#2. If there are one or two customers at the counter, walk around looking at things as if you are a customer. Continue this for five or ten minutes if needed. Consider it your break for the day.
#3. If there is a line of people, get in line. When your turn comes, give your business card and say, “I just have a really quick question for you.” If there is a line behind you, continue your pitch but omit small talk about the business. Wait your turn like any other customer would. Then you say what you are going to say, and move on. Don’t be nervous about the other people. Focus on just you and the owner. I’ve been surprised how many times the owner will say, “Hey Susan, can you take this customer here?” Owners will move to the side to have a conversation with you, if what you’re saying is interesting to them.
#4. ALWAYS make sure you have a reason for being there. That reason should NOT be that you came there to sell. You should be prepared to say, “I was actually in the area to check on my client, XYZ company.” Or, “I just came from installing a new credit card machine, the new EMV chip card terminal, over at ________.” That is the reason you stopped.
When you are in the field walking into businesses, that’s where the rubber meets the road! These seemingly LITTLE details become very important! Carefully execute these details to propel you into the path of the sales process.