How to lose a sale without even trying.

\"\"I’m in the market for a new car. Although I am very fond of it, my 11 year old car is beginning to cost me more money each year than it is worth.

To add to the woes of the car it was recalled last month. Apparently there was a danger that the airbags might explode, scattering metal throughout the interior of the car. Not ideal!

I opted for them to fix it while I waited so spent several hours sitting in their “waiting area” as they worked on my car. And that gave me plenty of time to consider how the sales team were losing any chance of my next car being one of theirs.

I was the only person in the sales room who wasn’t staff for most of the time and not once did anyone ask if I was OK, wanted their free wifi code or a cup of coffee. It was all available but it was up to me to find the sign or ask.

So what could they have done better?

·         A bit of eye contact from the staff as they walked past … and a smile wouldn’t have gone amiss. They all looked shifty and uncomfortable, like they didn’t really know who I was or why I was there. (A short conversation between service and sales at the start of the day would resolve that.)  

·         They could have started a conversation about the weather, the news or simply checked I had everything I needed. They could have passed the time of day with me, who knows where that exchange might have led.

·         Let’s face it I was there because I have an old car. If someone had got chatting to me about anything (other than cars) they could have moved the discussion onto the age of my car and how I might want a new one. If they had spoken with the service team in the morning they would have known I was a prime opportunity.  

·         They wouldn’t have been selling to me but just giving me an opportunity to buy.

Nothing I have suggested costs money … it just takes some thought and an understanding that everyone’s role is to serve the customer. If you make me feel good then I am much more likely to spend more money with you.

If you work in sales or service roles remember that the customer just wants to be made to feel wanted and if you bother to get to know them first they might well hand you the easiest sale of the day.

Do you agree?