This story from the files of Sales Training Guru, Jurek Leon.
A garden centre customer came up to the till having made a selection of a couple of punnets of seedlings. The staff member congratulated the lady on her purchase and asked her if she had snail pellets at home as it would be important to protect the seedlings. The staff member also recommended a growing agent. Most times that she did this, customers would purchase both snail pellets and a growing agent. Occasionally they said they already had them at home or they didn’t need them but no offence was ever taken. Customers appreciated the suggestions.
Just after this an elderly gentleman came into the garden centre and selected a punnet of seedlings. He appeared to be a regular customer and the lady chatted to him briefly and after processing the transaction farewelled him without any suggestion being made about either the snail pellets or the growing agent.
When questioned as to why she hadn’t made the same suggestions to the elderly gentleman, this staff member said that he was a pensioner and she knew very well that he didn’t have much money so she felt it wasn’t appropriate. “So it’s alright then if the snails eat this gentleman’s seedlings is it?”
“Oh, I hadn’t thought about it like that” she said looking quite distressed. She now felt quite guilty that she hadn’t looked after this regular customer properly.
Similarly at an automotive garage a vehicle was booked in by an elderly pensioner. On checking the car, John pointed out to this pensioner that there were a couple of additional things that needed to be done. John explained the additional cost involved and also advised that it could wait until the next service three or four months later, or alternatively they could do it there and then. The pensioner said “Oh, I’d rather get it all sorted now”.
The lesson from this is never pre-judge your customers. Give them the appropriate information and recommendations concerning any additional products or services you feel are appropriate for them. They can then make the decision as to whether to purchase or not. The result will be increased sales and happier customers.