Let me tell you a true story. A wealthy gentleman once walked into a Car Store, wanting to purchase a high end sports car. When he walked into the store, he went to the sales guy and told him that he wanted to purchase the car.
The salesman who became quite excited with the possibility of making a sale said – “Well, would you like a test drive?”
The Gentleman said, ” I am not looking for a test drive, I want to purchase this car.”
The nervous, excited salesman responded by saying “Well let me take you through all the features and explain how everything works!”
The customer was now getting slightly irritated. He said, ” I already know the features, I said I want to buy the car!”
The clueless salesman still didn’t get it. He continued by saying “Sure I understand, oh by the way, we have another option here, that will actually cost you less!”
The prospect got super irritated and said ” I am not looking for a deal, I just want the damn car, now will someone sell it to me?!! I want to speak to someone else!”
The salesman blew the deal right away, but just as the customer was about to leave the store, another salesman who happened to hear he conversation stepped in and said. “Sir, I am very sorry that you are upset. Let me get the papers for you right away and you can own this car.”
The Customer goes, “Okay let’s do it.” The first salesman tried to step in once again but the customer brushed him off by saying “I ain’t buying anything from you!” He went back disappointed.
The new salesman got all the papers out and said “Sir, we can get this deal done right away or I can show you a limited edition version of this car, we only have one of that kind in this entire city!”
The Customer Goes – “That’s the one I want!”
The second salesman closed the deal, up sold an even higher priced version of the car and got the big commission cheque!
Why is it that the first salesman blew an almost certain deal and the second salesman got it?
The reason is that the first salesman TALKED too much and didn’t listen to the customer’s needs.
The second reason is that the first salesman projected his values on to someone who was clearly an affluent buyer. Most people who are looking to buy expensive sports cars use the price tag as a status symbol. They are not looking for a deal! Furthermore, if the customer was looking for a deal, he would have asked for it. But because the salesman kept talking and didn’t bother to listen, he blew the deal.
The second salesman realized that minimizing friction was crucial to getting the deal done. So he immediately agreed to what the customer wanted and bought out the papers which made the customer happy. But he also realized that because this man was an affluent buyer, he could probably be interested in something even costlier, not cheaper. Thus he pitched him the idea of an even costlier product and sold it!
So here’s the takeway: If people in your organization are not selling more, perhaps they are talking too much and listening/observing too little. Reverse it!