Although this might sound ridiculous, it is likely that you are. Isn’t that a shame? Let me tell you this story, and help you understand why.
Last spring, I went to shop for a new car. My family and I went to our local Toyota Dealer because we were interested in buying a Prius. My husband’s truck had finally died, and it was time for something new. The salesman at the dealership was happy to show us a Prius and let us drive it around. I liked the car, but I didn’t love it. I like the environmental aspect of a hybrid, and Prius is the best in that regard. But the car was so stripped down that I didn’t feel as prosperous in it as I would like.
A few days later we went back and test drove a Camry hybrid. We went when the same salesman was there as we felt we wanted to continue with him since we had started with him. When we got there, he had a Camry hybrid he wanted to show us with 20,000 miles on it. I asked him who had previously owned it so that it had so many miles on it. He was somewhat evasive, but I pressed to get an answer. He said it had belonged to someone on staff, then said it may have been loaned out when people brought their cars in for repair at the dealership.
I told him I didn’t want to buy a car that had that many miles and had been driven by 100 people. He emphasized that I would save $7,000 by buying a year old car.
I said explicitly: “I am not interested in buying the cheapest car, I want to buy the car that I want.”
When we went back to the dealership from our test drive, my daughter and I went to the bathroom. When I came out, he had run the numbers on a new Camry hybrid that was a lower end model, and gave me the monthly payments with their financing. I looked at the numbers, and said we’d get back with him.
The whole thing just did not feel right to me. And after I thought about it, I realized that he had not paid attention to what I was saying. And he didn’t ask me a single question.
Let me repeat: he did not ask me a single question.
He turned away a qualified sale. I was ready, willing, and able to buy a new car either of those days we did test drives. But I didn’t because he did not help me identify the car that I really wanted. He didn’t even ask me what I really wanted or explore what I was looking for. He already had an idea in his head about what I was looking for, and what I needed, and then he tried to sell me that.
So for you, are you asking questions to find out what your people really want? Or do you approach them with your own idea about what you think they need and want?
Not only that, the salesman I was dealing with was so caught up in scarcity that he kept trying to get me “a better deal” when I wasn’t even looking “for a deal.”
I was looking for the car that I wanted, and I wasn’t sure what that was. His scarcity mentality prevented him from seeing the opportunity that was right in front of his eyes–and that I am sure had a higher commission.
Consider for yourself:
Are your beliefs about money getting in the way of you seeing opportunities to make a bigger sale?
Are you asking enough questions to find out what your potential clients and customers actually want?
Are you listening well enough so that you can help your people identify what is most important to them?
Are you offering them your expert advice on the right solutions for them based on what you heard?
Be honest with yourself, because what you discover might just be the difference between making an even bigger sale than you thought, or turning away someone who is actually eager to buy. And wouldn’t that be a shame?