May I Make a Suggestion?

Whether you sell B2C, B2G, or B2B, at some point you will have a Customer who is torn between 2 products or services. By now you have already qualified them (or you should have), so you know that money isn't the issue. You've established your credibility and your organization's superiority. And then the entire sales process comes to a grinding halt because the Customer wants someone to tell them what to do.

An adequate Salesperson will reiterate features & benefits and try to find out if there are hidden objectives, and the Customer will walk without buying. A good Salesperson will go ahead and write up the order, secure in the knowledge that if the Customer isn't moving, it's time to move them. Some Customers, to avoid conflict, will let this happen. (I call it 'the bully approach'.) Unfortunately, they will often call and cancel the order the next day, or return the item if you are in a retail environment.

A great Salesperson will say this:
"May I make a suggestion?"

Who will say no to that? 99.9% of the time, not the Customer. The moment they give their permission, say the following, loud and clear:
"Take them both." Then shut up. Do not speak until the Customer speaks, under penalty of the death of your sale.

If your business is B2G or B2G, about 50% of the time, the answer will be (usually after a significant pause), "Okay." If your business is B2C, the average is closer to 30% (higher if what you sell is a luxury item). And even if they don't say yes to both, saying, "Take them both" forces a decision, and you will make the sale.

Think about that. Just by saying those 2 sentences and then keeping your mouth shut, you will as much as double the revenue of half of your sales. And the remainder will at least buy one of the 2 products or services.

Of course, you can continue to let Customers walk without buying, simply because you're afraid to try something new. What have you got to lose? They were already going to walk. Even if they are the .1% who will say no, you haven't lost a thing.

Like many conversations in Sales, the reason that you clam up after saying, "Take them both" is because the next person to speak loses. Remember, every sentence in the Sales process is a transaction. You have put your proposal on the table; now it's the Customer's turn to respond to it. If you break the cycle by saying something else, you have broken the Sales process. The Customer will immediately use this to avoid the conflict of choosing by running for the hills.

They like you, they like your company, they like what you're selling. If they didn't, they would have left before now. And why wouldn't they like all those things? You have the best products/services, you work for the best company, and you are the best Salesperson. They've done the equivalent of accepting a cup of coffee and putting up their feet, and then you went and handed them their coat.

May I make a suggestion? Stop handing Customers their coats!

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