It’s an old saying in sales that people buy people first.
It’s almost true, too.
Almost, but not quite.
What it should actually say is this:
People buy on emotion and justify with logic. That emotion is often whether they like the person and the logic is often affordability.
But it’s much too long-winded and so we always say people buy people first.
The thing is it works in reverse, too. People decide not to buy on emotion just as quickly.
Take my wife… please. (Okay, okay; it’s an old joke, but I thought it was worth repeating). Take my wife. She was in a car showroom looking at new cars. She was ready to be sold to and she liked the look of the Honda S2000. Bear in mind that she’d been shopping (and , in Scotland, your shopping is called ‘your messages’) and that she was with her mum.
The only thing the sales guy had to do was ask her if she wanted a test drive and fetch the keys. Instead what he did was look her up and down and say ‘you’ll never get your messages in the back of that, love.’
Personally, I think it was the ‘love’ on the end of the sentence that really did for him.
My wife (who was ready to buy and wanted that Honda) marched out of the showroom and into the Mercedes garage next door and bought an SLK… not particularly because she wanted one, but mostly to naff off the Honda salesman.
All of this goes to show a couple of things:
- Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned
- First impressions count in sales
- It’s easy to balls it up if you’re not ultra careful
Personally, I could see what the bloke was trying to say. He was making a light-hearted joke, notwithstanding the fact that it was a bonehead thing to say, at the same time as trying not to be too pushy.
But then, I’m not my wife and neither is he. I think I know what the guy would say if he reads this blog. He would say something like, ‘well, it was just a joke and it wouldnae upset me.’
That’s just the point, though. The least important person in the sales process is the sales person. It doesn’t matter whether the comment would upset him, just as it doesn’t matter if he doesn’t like pushy sales people or whether he thinks the car is a bit pricey.
It only matters what the customer thinks and if the customer wants to be sold to then that’s what you have to do.
However, take some time to gauge the customer before you make a comment like he did. I think he was fairly lucky to escape with just a lost sale…