By Gene Fresco

The greatest loss of sales is from the “I’ll be back” objection. Most salespeople don’t know how to overcome the “Be back” objection or the “I’d like to think it over” objection.

The reasons customers say that is because you didn’t solve their problem, you didn’t close the sale or you didn’t ask them to buy.
I have observed retail salespeople give an excellent demonstration for the product they are trying to sell, but I also see and hear them forget to ask the customer to buy it.

In the music business, we are lucky because some be-backs do come back. That is unique to our business.
You can’t succeed on just luck. You have to know how to get the customer to buy “now.”

Good qualification can help you keep the be-backs to a minimum. Asking the customer, “Is this for you?” is an excellent qualifying question. Listening to the answer is also very important. Remember, God gave us one mouth and two ears. So listen!

Another good qualifying question is, “When will you need it?”

Asking questions that get “yes” answers is another important qualifying method. You must have control of the presentation and present it with the AIDA formula.

That is Attention, Interest, Desire and Action.

The AIDA formula is taught in every sales training school in the world. No one has created a more successful sales formula since Elmer Wheeler gave it to the world in the 1930s.

If you don’t have the customer’s undivided attention at the beginning of your presentation, there is no reason to go further. I know that, with cell phones, it makes it more difficult to get undivided attention these days. You must politely ask the customer to turn it off during your presentation. If he or she has a child pulling at his or her pants leg or dress, ask an associate who’s not busy to entertain the child during your presentation.

In the “Interest” part of AIDA, you must ask the qualifying question and please, please, please don’t ask, “May I help you?” You will hear, “I’m just looking.”

When you have made eye contact with a customer, say, “Good morning. I’m Gene. How are you today?” I know that your name is (probably) not Gene. Say your name! Ask the customer his or her name, and then use it as often as you can.
People like to hear their name, and they will like you because you say it a lot.

In the “Interest” part of AIDA, you want to know why that person came into your store. Or, if you are at a church or an auditorium, you want to know why they asked you to come by to tell them about a sound system.
Trust me…if you master the AIDA formula in your sales presentation, you will be better prepared, more effective and more successful. It is called the magic sales formula.

The D in AIDA stands for “Desire.” You must create a desire for the product you have chosen for the customer to solve his or her problem. You do this by putting the customer in the picture. Getting him or her to see the benefits of buying the instrument you have chosen for that person to buy.

Let customers play the only song they know on a guitar. Don’t show off how well you can play. This intimidates the customer.
Always give them two choices. “Do you want this one or that one?” “Will you take it with you, or do you want us to deliver it?” “Do you want to take lessons with us, or do you have someone to teach you?”

Once you feel the customer believes you have solved his or her problem, then you must go to the last A in AIDA: “Action.” Action means you must ask them to buy the product.

Seems like the hardest part of selling, but, if you have done everything right in the beginning, it is the easiest part of selling. Another way of saying it is “closing the sale.” Here are a few closes to make it even easier.

The one you have heard at Sears all your life: “Will that be cash or charge?”

Others are: “This will cost you about $8.00 a week. Can you afford $8.00 a week?” “We take all credit cards. Will that be Visa or

MasterCard?” “Would you like to have us set it up for you?”

For the undecided, here is the Ben Franklin close.

I have told this story before, but I think it best explains how this close works. I was helping a dealer in Oklahoma, working the retail floor during a big sale the store was having. A nice lady came in who was a teacher, and I greeted her as she came in. She needed a guitar and amp to learn how to play. At the end of my presentation, she said she had to think it over. I could see she needed help in deciding, so I said, “I’m sure you have heard of Ben Franklin.”

She replied, “Of course. I’m a school teacher”

I said, “When Ben Franklin had a decision to make, he would draw two lines on a piece of paper, one for pros and one for cons. If there were more pros than cons, he would say yes. If there were more cons than pros, he would say no. Let’s solve your problem, OK?”
I drew the two lines on a piece of paper and said, “I’ll write the pros and you write the cons and we can solve your problem.” So, I wrote under the pros, “You’ve been wanting to play guitar all your life; the guitar and amp are at a great savings; lifetime guarantee; six free lessons; playing guitar is fun; life is short.” I handed the pen to her to put the cons. She dropped the pen and said, “Do you take Visa?”

Selling is easy when you know how.

I wish you good selling.

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