It’s been said, as far as sales are concerned, there’s nothing new under the sun. There’s some truth to this strong assertion, especially if we go back thousands of years and apply the wisdom of Aristotle, who asserted effective persuasion depends on three things: reputation, audience awareness, and argument.
The following scenario shows how your firm’s reputation can be emphasized as you assure the customer that choosing your product is the right thing to do. (The prospect is a manufacturing executive, known far and wide for giving generous Christmas gifts to his best clients. You’d like to see your greenhouse plants in those gift baskets.)
The prospect is calling in response to an advertisement. In so doing, he’s qualified himself, allowing you to move directly to your emphasis on your firm’s reputation for quality and its solid standing in the community.
You: “Thank you for calling Fleur Jolie. Are you calling about our special Christmas gifts for your special clients?”
Prospect: “Yes, I received something in the mail and I liked what I saw. Tell me more.”
ASSURE WITH ACCOLADES.
There are numerous gift shops in town and hundreds in cyberspace. To win this account, you’ll have to distinguish yourself from the other gift shops that can, if truth be told, supply pretty much the same thing you can. Take advantage of the opportunity: add value with accolades (ones you’ve received).
You: “First, let me tell you that Fleur Jolie is a family-owned and operated gift shop that’s been in business for over a hundred years. We have corporate accounts with four of the five largest industries in the county. In fact, George Allarde, CEO of Bottchers, calls us the Saks Fifth Avenue of the South. We have one full-time employee dedicated exclusively to handling our corporate customers so we have a good understanding of your needs.”
THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN BRAGGING AND ASSURING
It’s best if you can provide accolades in response to a question. In this scenario, the prospect asked you to tell him more. That’s your invitation. Had you begun citing your firm’s accomplishments, it could have turned the prospect off. Absent a tell-me-more prompt, wait until later in the exchange and slip those accolades in at appropriate times.
By Devin Mason