Do you remember the moment from “Pretty Woman” with Julia Roberts and Richard Gere, when she gets money from her “friend” and goes to buy a dress?
She comes back to the hotel with empty hands because “they don’t want to sell me!”
Why does it happen this way? The case described in the movie is not unique- it happens absolutely everyday. Our classification of those who may become our buyers is based on stereotypes, on our experience. This way we forget that everybody while being a part of a social group with certain characteristics is still different.
So many times it came out that our first impression about the potential client are opposite to the reality. And we may be wrong in few ways: underestimate or overestimate his/her financial status, determine wrongly the clients’ needs and expectation regarding the product we may offer.
Probably instead of playing the magician able to predict clients’ intention it is much easier to just ask the right questions. It is so easy: in several minutes you will already have a better knowledge of the person in front of you and its needs. Just a little bit of effort and will to overcome your own stereotypes may save many lost sales. You effort will be paid off with more satisfied and happy clients who will in most cases buy from you, because you cared.
Have you experiences such a situation either as a sales person or as a client?
How do you think we could overcome the barrier of first impression and avoid the preliminary selection of those who can or cannot buy from us?