Editor’s Notebook: Quality & Courtesy Make the Sale

Editor’s Notebook: Quality & Courtesy Make the Sale

As companies fight for market share, the airwaves, print and digital media, and the internet are laden with messages that employ a variety of selling tactics to target certain consumer demographics. Some sales pitches are subtle, others are blatant; some play on consumer emotions, while others play on fears; and some make promises, while others fulfill lifestyle preferences.

Whatever the case, there is a strategy behind every advertising message, but some can be more unique than others. Take a Cleveland, OH-based mattress company that’s been quite successful at winning customers.

The headline in a recent Sunday edition newspaper caught my eye: “Quality, courtesy make the sale. No closing moves, lack of high pressure helped Aunt Sophie pick her own mattress.”

As I read the article, I found out that “Aunt Sophie” was a particularly persistent customer who came into the mattress warehouse about six times before buying a mattress. The company’s president went on to explain that they sold Aunt Sophie the way they sell all customers — by letting them make their own educated buying decisions. He said they do three things: Be courteous, be friendly and be knowledgeable about their product, because they believe customers are smart enough to know what they want to buy.

Company salespeople don’t have any high-pressure closing tactics. The strategy is to let customers compare the quality and price of its mattresses with those of the competition, cutaway samples of which are on display in the stores for consumer evaluation. A mix of traditional values and straight talk project an honest, low-pressure image to consumers. Key to this success story is the company’s ability to also eliminate the middleman and sell directly to the customer.

The president continued that he truly believes in his product – that he has the absolute best deal – so that message is easy for him to convey to customers.

As you think about this example and how it relates to your company, think about ways you can be more successful at winning customers. Are customers properly greeted as they enter your shop? Do they feel comfortable about their automotive repair experience? Do you take the time to educate them about necessary repairs and the benefits that come with proper vehicle maintenance? Do you give customers enough information to make educated decisions about vehicle repair?

Take the time to tout your shop’s expertise and technicians’ experience. Let them know you use quality parts and that you’ve invested in the proper tools and equipment to get the job done efficiently and expertly. Make sure the waiting area is a good reflection of your total shop area. Tell them how much pride you take in correctly fixing their vehicles.

Give them several reasons to confirm they’ve made the right decision in coming to your shop, and even “Aunt Sophie” will bring her car to you.

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