Here’s a poor example of selling

Want to hear of an example of poor selling that
I experienced just the other day?

Well, I was out shopping at our local supermarket
(I know, I know, I was dragged kicking and screaming
by my wife Donna!) when I walked by a guy who was selling
breakdown cover (the company name will remain

He was standing outside the entrance asking everyone
who walked by the same question:

“Want to buy some breakdown cover?”

I tell a lie, on the way out of the store he asked me
“Interested in some breakdown cover?”

Well boo bloomin hoo!

That was awful.

I guess his days are very long ones!

What’s wrong with his opening statement then?

Yes, it doesn’t grab my attention nor create any
interest and it certainly doesn’t answer the question
“What’s in it for me?”

I remember doing some work with a company a year
or so ago that were selling credit cards in a similar

They too were camped outside supermarkets, garden
centres and in motorway service stations.

You know the ones – you stop off at a service station
bursting for the toilet and as you waddle past them they
ask you:

“Want to buy a new credit card?”

“Interested in a new credit card?”

Yawn, yawn, yawn! It makes you walk even faster!

Anyhow, I did a days consulting with them and looked at
their whole approach.

As part of the work I did for them, we looked at their
opening and I recommended that they changed their opening
line to the following:

“Transfer your existing balance over to XYZ today
and you do not have to pay any interest for 12 months,
want to hear more?”

They also tried:

“Change your credit card today and we will give you £300”
(This hook was the average that someone could save on
interest – in a way the company would credit the card holders
account with the interest they would have paid! Neat huh?!)

Both of these statements made a lot of “Non interested”
shoppers who were just walking by, suddenly become
interested and their sales soared through the roof.

Their sales went up even further when I recommended
hitting the prospects on the way out of the service
station instead of the way in!

So what are the lessons for you to take away?

Well, think of the opening statements that you are making
and analyse them for their effectiveness.

By simply just changing your opening gambit you can
dramatically change your sales.

Are you grabbing the attention of your prospect?

Are you arousing their interest?

Are you telling them what is in it for them?

Be ruthless, audit your openings and test new ones out.

Sean McPheat

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