Sunday, July 24, 2011

Getting a “Yes” From the Customer

Marketing consists of two parts, the part that gets people to your farm and the part that gets them to go home with one of your animals (or other products). Today I’m talking about some things that belong in the second part of marketing.

Either before this potential customer arrives—perhaps in a phone or email conversation—or as soon as he arrives, you’ve determined what this person is in the market for. You don’t want to show him some model (color, gender, species, kind of product) that you’re not selling. This matters whether your product is a copier, a fire extinguisher, a goat, an alpaca, fresh berries, crafts or some chickens.

How do you find out what he’s looking for? You ASK him!!!
“Tell me a little about your (farm, business, family).”
“What are you trying to accomplish?”
“Where are you trying to go with ______________?”
“What’s important to you?”
“What advantages do you think the _______________ will have for your (family, farm, business)?”
“Tell me what you think about ________________.”

What if he showed up and you’re all gung ho to sell the herd sire you’ve been advertising. Your presentation is practiced and word perfect. But here comes Mr. Customer with his wife and two kids and they want the cute babies for pets. Your presentation for the babies isn’t so polished. You could lose the sale. So find out who your customer is and what he’s dreaming and hoping in the first few minutes for sure or better yet, before he shows up.

The outcome you want from this family, finally is a big yes…yes, they want the product you’re selling—the one that’s just right for them. That final yes can be helped along with a whole lot of little yes’es all the way along. The more often he agrees with you, the more likely he’ll agree to give you money for your product. I’ve talked about this before, and it’s covered in “Growing Your Rural Business” the second of the marketing trilogy. I included it in the persuasion chapter. Here’s another way to look at it. I’m borrowing the “tie down” terminology from Tom Hopkins, author of “How To Master The Art of Selling.”

One of the best ways to get small yes’es is by “tie downs” those little tags at the end of a sentence that makes some one nod their head yes, or say, “Of course.” Before I give you a list of some to try, remember they can be overdone. Everyone will get annoyed by too many questions. But a few of these along with a customer’s visit can go a long way to getting that final yes. “It sure tastes good off the vine, doesn’t it?” “Her spots sure are spectacular, aren’t they?” Here is a list of tie downs that help to get to “yes.”

Aren’t they?
Aren’t you?
Won’t you?
Won’t they?
Hasn’t he?
Don’t you agree?
Didn’t she?
Isn’t that right?
Can’t you?
Can’t they?
Wasn’t it?
Didn’t it?
Shouldn’t it?
Isn’t it?
Wouldn’t it?
Doesn’t it?
Couldn’t it?
Haven’t they?
Don’t you think?

These tie downs, used judiciously, create what are called leading questions. They are not allowed in a courtroom, but in your selling situation they help get the customer agreeing with you and that’s an effective sales technique.

If you want to sell your products, you must practice the things that work FOR you. Stand in front of a mirror and practice 6 or 8 sentences that you know are likely to come up as they’re looking at your animals or other products. Try it. You’ll sell more, promise!

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