The Five S’of Selling

Somebody is Selling Something to Someone Somewhere.  It doesn’t matter where you go, that is always happening.  I was taught that when I was a new sales person.  I lived by it then, and I live by it now.  So why is that so important and why does it even matter?  Well, I’ll tell you.  It comes down to you are either selling, or you’re being sold.  When you start thinking about who is selling whom, you can start to cut all of the noise out and get down to where the objections truly are.

Once you’re done with being sold on excuses and objections that are just defenses, you will find that your life will be much easier.  And remember, the sales person is the easiest person to sell, so we want to believe everything we’re being told.    You have to discipline yourself and start focusing on true objections and what the customer is really trying to tell you.  But before you get to that, let’s talk about how and why the customer is at your place of business.


I have a good friend that runs an internet and marketing department at an automobile dealership.  One of his responsibilities is making sure that the sourcing is accurate pertaining to what is making the customers come in to his store. He told me about 4 years ago he took “Walk-In” out as a source and replaced it with, “I was too weak to ask.”  I have never forgotten that and believe that he did exactly what he should have.  To say that somebody was just driving by and thought, “oh hey, I’ll just go in and see what a new Audi or Ford looks like” is absurd.  And to believe that you have any measurable metrics to show how many people just “walk-in” is ridiculous.  There is so much technology out there to help guide us in our decisions that there is always a reason somebody comes in to your establishment.  Most buyers go to over 50 online sites before ever going into a store.  They also spend upwards of 20 hours researching online too.  So the next time you are with a customer, don’t ask them, “what brought you in today?”  Instead, ask “what websites influenced you the most to come in?”  You’d be surprised at how much more you will find out.  It also shows the customer you are very much aware that they are not ignorant and that they are doing research.

So why am I going off on a tirade about the internet and basic research the customer is doing?  Because there are still plenty of places that believe their customers are truly just walking in and somehow, without any research or knowledge, are making large purchases.  My favorite response from a sales person when I ask them what brought the customer in to the store is, “The internet.”  Really?  You think?  As sales people it is our job to make sure we are getting accurate information, so that the money being spent to market is being spent on the right things.  I’ll also bring it back to the fact that customers are smarter today than they ever have been, and they do not appreciate being treated like imbeciles.  Treat your customer with dignity and respect and you will quickly find that they will treat you the same way.  Most of the time…..


So where am I going with all of this?  Pretty much where I always go.  People buy people, not products.  That has never changed in the age of selling.  The only thing that has changed is the way we sell.  You know the customer has done their research before coming in.  And, news flash, they know more about the product they’re there to buy than you do.  And here’s another number.  At automobile dealerships, the average customer only goes into 1.5 stores before making a purchase.  So why did your customer tell you they needed to go home and think about it?  Because they didn’t like you.  There is no nice way to say that.  I’ll say it again though.  They didn’t like you.  Don’t kid yourself and think that you did everything right and it’s the customer’s fault for not buying from you.  You did something during the process that upset the customer or made them feel uncomfortable.  Either way, you lost the sell.


Willy Wonka

I know every sales person reading this is going through their head and saying, well I have had customers come back when they said they would.  Of course you have.  And you are coming up with the exception to the rule.  The problem is, you are actually proving the rule (yep, it took me two times to pass Statistics in college, but I got it right the second time).  9 out of 10 times when the customer says they will come back, they don’t.

If you can’t sell yourself first, you’re never going to be able to consistently sell your customer.  Remember, show them how much you care before you show them how much you know.  And stop practicing the definition of insanity.  If your customers keep saying they need to leave and will come back, you are doing something wrong and need to make a change.  At the end of the day the sale starts and ends with you.  Remember, Somebody is Selling Something to Someone Somewhere.  I would love to hear from the readers what your thoughts are.  Am I wrong?  Does Walk-in traffic really exist?  As always, thank you for reading!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s