As a salesman, it’s your job to get your customers the products or services they need in the most convenient and quick manner possible. It’s not your job to convince them that they need your products or services. You may have the salesman skills to convince people to buy things from you or your store, but the vast majority of customers come to you in need of a specific item or items—at the very least, they have a problem they need you to solve for them.
The first step in making the sale is to listen. Obviously, you should introduce yourself and your company and explain the basics of what you can do for the customer, but you want to avoid going on a long pitch about all of your great products and services in the first minute of your sales interaction. Avoid reciting your sales pitch to your customer the moment they walk into the store. What could you possibly tell them that will solve their problems? You don’t even know what they are yet.
The next step is to sell with questions, not answers. Ask your customer plenty of questions so that you can understand what brought them into your store at this particular moment. Ask them questions with no ulterior motives or hidden agenda. Ask questions because you’re curious.
William Gholson has twenty years of experience working in sales. He works for an auto parts store in San Antonio, Texas, and works on his cars in his spare time.