By Gene Fresco

sales_guruOK, 2012 is here. Let’s do it right this time.
Let’s make 2012 the best year we have ever had, in spite of the wailing about how bad the economy is and how deeply in debt our politicians have gotten our country.

I have said many times that if you don’t ask your customer at least 30 questions, you won’t know what the customer needs.

I am going to give you the questions you need to ask to solve the customer’s problem, and show you how important it is to put the customer in the picture.
Let’s take this by the instrument the customer is considering buying.

First, the beginning guitar player.
Here are the questions:
Is this the first instrument you have ever wanted to play?
Did you take band in school?
Why do you want to play guitar?
If you buy a guitar, will you commit to practicing one hour a day?
Where will you practice in your home?
In your room or some other room in the house?
What kind of music do you want to learn how to play?
Country? Rock? Jazz? Classical? Religious?
Do you want to take lessons from our teachers?
Do you have someone else who can teach you?
Do you want to play guitar for fun, or do you plan on making it a career?
Who are your favorite guitarists?
What are your favorite bands?
Are you familiar with the guitars that are available for the music you want to play?
Do you have a particular guitar in mind, on which you want to learn how to play?
Let’s go into the guitar department and see what we have to meet your needs. You said you would like to play rock.
Is that hard rock?
From the bands you told me are your favorites, I believe this selection of guitars is for you.
Try this one on. How does it feel? Do you like the color? Do you like this color better?
Are you comfortable with the fit? Can you reach all the strings? Of course, this is an electric guitar, so you will need an amp to go with it. Let’s plug in, so you can hear how it will sound. I will show you how to make a chord and you can strum the strings and hear how it will sound. Sounds pretty good, huh?
Do you like the red guitar or the blue one?
Is this amp big enough, or would you like one that’s a little bigger?
Once the customer has selected the guitar and amp that he or she wants, you can close with the “alternate question” close.
Will that be cash or charge?
Grab a strap and a case on the way to the register and thank the customer for making a wise choice.
Selling is this simple. You must be in total control of the situation.
The other day, I went to a new doctor and I could see by his questions that he was really interested in my situation. He asked me about 30 questions to make sure he had the solution to my problems. That is what you have to convey to a customer: that you are really interested in his or her needs, so that person will feel you truly came up with the solution to his or her problem.
Now, let’s try a sound system for a professional band.
Here are the questions:
Are you buying the PA, or is the band buying it?
If the answer is that the band is buying it, ask when can you meet with the band.
When the band comes in to discuss the purchase, here are the questions to ask:
How often do you play a gig?
Weekends or all week?
What is the largest venue you will play?
200 people? 500 people? 1,000 people? More than 1,000 people?
How many singers are in the group?
Do you want to mic the drums?
How many guitar players are there?
Do you travel city-wide? State-wide? Country-wide?
Do you have a van or truck to carry the PA?
Do you want wireless mics or wired mics?
Do you want condenser mics?
Do you have a sound man or woman?
Do you want a snake to have the mixing board off stage?
Do you want floor monitors or in-ear monitors?
What kind of music do you play?
What type of venues?
How will you be paying for the PA?
Will that be cash or charge?
I have sold literally thousands of sound systems.
I have sold to arenas, churches, bands nationally known and locally known, clubs, military and even to a motocross venue.
I have developed a unique way for bands to buy a sound system, which I will pass on to you.
Let’s say a local band is buying a $3,000 sound system and there are five band members. I would break down the system into five equal parts. That is $600 per bandsman. Each band member would finance a $600 piece and, if he left the band, they could buy it back from him or he would have a speaker he could take to his next band, or to sell.
I sold countless sound systems this way.
Remember: You have to take control of the situation when selling. You are like the doctor who asks, “Where does it hurt?”, and you come up with the solution to a customer’s problem
Let’s go into 2012 with a positive attitude—and work hard and smart—and make 2012 our best year ever!
I wish you good selling.

No more articles