My wife doesn’t usually call me during the day when I’m working out of town. I was ending the day with 100 salespeople in one of my seminars when I felt my cell phone vibrate. I stepped out of the meeting room at the end of the day to return her call.
“When you get home, I want you to look at a car,” she told me.
Now we had two vehicles. I had a Mustang convertible and she had a Ford Explorer Sport Trac pickup truck. Our kids weren’t old enough to drive, so I asked the obvious question: “Who’s getting a new car?”
I already knew the answer. She always gets the new car. She drove the kids to school, to their extracurricular activities and to the store. I was on the road most weeks, so my car was either parked at the office, the airport or at home.
She told me she found a new car she really liked, and she wanted to trade my car in; I could take her truck.
I agreed to see it on Saturday morning after I got home late Friday night.
The Test Drive
On Saturday morning, we went to the dealership to see the Ford Taurus she liked. She introduced me to the salesperson, and we got in the car to take a test drive.
As I was getting adjusted to the driver’s seat, the salesperson commented from the back seat about the moon roof, which was something my wife had always liked. I didn’t care about a moon roof one way or the other, even though both our vehicles had one — but, OK, I looked at it.
Before pulling out of the lot, I adjusted my seat, steering wheel, side view mirrors and the air conditioner — making the car fit me better. While I was doing these things, the salesperson said, “Lloyd, see that blue button just above the air conditioner? Push it for a second, until the temperature feels right for you.” As I found this blue button, I wondered why he was focused on this, but I pushed it and cool air started to come out.
Just as this happened, he leaned into the front of the car, pointed and said, “Now see that red button on that side of the air conditioner? Push it and, Debbie, tell us when it feels right for you.”
As soon as my wife said it was good, the salesperson said, “Now, Lloyd, when you and Debbie are taking your drives to look at antiques, you can keep your side of the car as cool as you like it and Debbie can keep her side of the car warm enough to feel comfortable all the time. That’s a nice feature, isn’t it?”
I immediately looked at my wife and commented, “Someone’s been talking!”
Clearly, my wife had already talked with the salesperson about our drives, how I liked my side of the car cool and how she was always cold. And he illustrated how she could keep her side as warm as she wanted.
He wasn’t selling the “feature” of the air conditioner; he was selling me on the “pain” my wife felt when we drove together and she felt cold, while he sold her the “benefit” of how she could keep her side of the car warmer.
This guy knew what he was doing, for sure!
He listened to understand instead of listening to respond like most salespeople.
During the test drive, he also pointed out other features that — interestingly —were things my wife commented on over the years. Things like the driver’s seat having a memory for two different positions, meaning when I got in the car and hit the No. 2 button, the seat adjusted to fit me, and my wife could always get the seat back to what was most comfortable for her when I wasn’t driving the car.
The Sales Pitch That Never Happened
What the salesperson was doing was having me adjust the things we used the most, in the order we used those things. As he was doing this, he was getting me, as he did my wife, to take emotional ownership over the car.
When we got back to the lot, he directed me to park in a particular spot, right next to our car.
I wonder why?
When we went inside the dealership after the test drive, what do you think we went inside to discuss — which car we might buy or how much we were going to pay for that car?
If you said how much we were going to pay for that car, I wholeheartedly agree!
Because the salesperson sold the benefits of the features he saw my wife adjust during her test drive, he ensured she already felt she owned that car. Then he sold me on how the benefits of those features would make my wife’s life easier and more comfortable if she were driving that car.
The only question he left for me to answer was how much I was going to pay for that car.
Now I’m sure you want to know — yes, we drove off that lot with that car and a happy wife!
So, let me ask you: How can you help your prospect adjust your product or service to fit them? Customers build a relationship with you, your company and the problem they want to solve. You’re always selling the experience!
Finding The Yes
Pay attention to the things people adjust the most, in the order they make those adjustments when they get behind the wheel.
Sell the problems people have. Ask questions about how and why they use the things that affect their life.
Find the benefit. Features are what a product has or does. Benefits are why someone would want those features – what’s happening now that they want to change?
Listen to understand, don’t listen to respond. It’s OK for them to buy for their reason. They don’t have to buy for your reason.
Welcome objections. Questions gather information, and objections disclose information by revealing what the prospect needs in order to buy today!