Do You Ask Your Customers These Questions?

Years ago I sold fine china, (you know what I mean, dishes) at the local county and state fairs. I also sold door to door. I won’t go into how difficult that was, but I will tell you that if you are looking for a good salesperson and you find one that has sold door to door and was successful at it, hire that person on the spot, but that’s not what I want to tell you about.

Have you ever heard of a an ad man named Elmer Wheeler? He wrote a book in 1937 called “Tested Sentences That Sell”. He tested 105,000 words on over 19,000,000 people.

So what’s this got to do with your business and me selling china?

Well little did I know that while I was selling china I stumbled on to one of Elmer’s findings on my own. One of the things Mr. Wheeler figured out was that as a salesperson you should always give a prospect a choice. However you should never give them a choice between something and nothing. The choice should always be between something and something else. By asking or framing the question properly you will always get the answer you want.

So what’s that have to do with china?

Well when I was selling china I always assumed that the young lady I was making a presentation to was going to buy. So while I showed her the china I would only show her one design at a time. Then I would lay that design down and bring out another design to show her. Now I have two designs out so I would ask her, “Mary between the two patterns which one do you like the most?” She was forced to pick one or the other. I didn’t say do you like either of these because that could give me a “NO” answer, which was not my desired response. After Mary picked one I would put the one she didn’t choose away and bring out another design and start the process all over again.

I have to tell you I sold a lot of china, as a mater of fact in 1980 I sold $17,000 worth in 12 days! And as you can imagine 29 years ago china wasn’t that expensive.

So here is the 64 million dollar question. How can you apply what Elmer Wheeler figured out in 1937 to your sales process today? How are you framing your questions? How are you giving your prospects choices?

Now go sell something.

Take care,

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