Home > Business > A problem I did not even know I had

A problem I did not even know I had


PaulHow do you sell to potential customers? Are sales people serving their own agenda to make a sale or are they getting the sale by listening to customers, identifying problems and providing solutions?

My eyes nervously scanned around the room catching glimpses of what was going on next to me and behind me. I dare not move my head and break protocol. I’m subdued but alert. Through reflections off of glass and chrome I see lots of activity, glance at a few faces; I know no one here. I’m alone and trapped in this chair again with a tarp covering me, forcing myself to submit to this social ritual. A pale woman with her hair dyed raven black, tattoos and a few facial piercings stands over me smiling, focused on the sharp object she grips with one hand. I don’t even know her name. I feel tense not knowing what to expect; I just want it to end. RavenShe starts talking and never stops. She acts friendly but I quickly ascertain that she has an agenda; she wants information. I have only two options, make a break for the door to see if I can escape or to engage her and play her game.

I choose to play. “Number 2 clip through the sides and back please, then just shorten it up on top.” She goes to work, through a frenzy of hair and sharp metal, through a mist of water droplets clouding around my head, I see her smiling and hear her talking. I could sense it coming, she’s been setting me up like some patsy. I check myself in the mirror – no, it’s not there, the word ‘sucker’ is not scrawled across my forehead. Everything slows down around me, I watch her in the mirror focused on her lips, waiting, listening, watching for those words to tumble out of her mouth “Would you like to buy some product? ”

It never comes. She never says those words. She’s not going to try and sell me their hair products? Have they finally given up trying to sell to me? What a relief! At last, I’m not being sold something I don’t want or need. But this one is shrewd. She’s young, but someone has trained her well. She’s been listening as she’s been interrogating me. She paid attention to my self deprecating comments about the slow death march of my hairline and the more recent thinning issue. Quick on her feet, insightful, she’s sees and ceases the opportunity. She identifies a problem that I did not even know I had and she offers me a solution. In a few sentences she educates me on hair products, gives me a demonstration and shows me that I’m using the wrong product. My trusted alcohol based gel twists hairs together and thins the strands, emphasizing scalp! Her wax fluffs the strands and creates a fuller, thicker look. My defenses broken, my skepticism defused, I’m sold!

You may have detected an ever so slight cynicism from me in this overly dramatic hair cut tale. As a retail shopper, I expect and dislike those awkward moments of the uniformed sales associate spewing their slick, canned sales pitch; their self-serving agenda. Bottom line, I don’t like to be sold to and it’s a pretty safe guess that I’m not alone in that sentiment. But when someone can listen to what I’m saying, identify my problem and offer me a solution, it’s a different story. The people who can do this can win me over. As a consumer, if I’m shown that they are listening and have my best interest at heart, then they will get my full attention. If they can offer me solutions,
I’m sold!

PurchaseFor years, visit after visit to the Great Super Fantastic hair cutting chain du jour, I’ve had one girl after another try and sell me hair products. They tell me what theirs does or why they think it’s better.. blah blah blah. I’ve never been given a good reason to even consider it and have never made a purchase. At my last haircut things turned out differently; dare I say, better! This girl, though in her early twenties, has already learned how to make a sale. By solving a problem I did not even know I had (using the wrong product) she made her sale, I happily bought the product. I suspect I over paid by buying at a hair cut chain store, but she earned that sale and she did it without a pitch. I’m sold!

Paul Robnett
Web Design & Development
Optima Graphics

Categories: Business
  1. December 18, 2011 at 1:11 am

    Huh>> great post

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