All of us have had the opportunity to work with both types of salespeople. You CAN sell using both techniques. However, it has been our experience that most customers like to be helped through the buying process, as long as it is professional and non-confrontational. Here are examples of both types of selling.
A customer walks in and asks for something in particular. The sales person says it is right over here. After a minute, the customer starts asking questions about the product and the salesperson answers all of the questions asked. When the customer has no more questions, they will typically ask for a business card, thank the salesperson for their time, and leave. Occasionally the customer may open more dialogue by asking what kind of deal can I get on this, or can I try it out, or can I get this product in another color or with some different options. They have then opened the door for the salesperson to offer an agreement to purchase to them.
This is RE-ACTIVE selling. The customer asks all the questions and leads the salesperson to a sale, or, a no-sale. This is the least effective method of selling.
This is the type of selling we teach and encourage everyone to use. This is about taking control of the process. We do not want to control the customer, just the way the transaction is handled. We always want to be pro-active, leading the customer to a successful conclusion in a non-confrontational manner. PROFESSIONAL SALES MANSHIP!
A customer walks in and asks for something in particular. We “Welcome” them to our place of business and thank them for being here. We ask them if they have ever been here before. We then proceed to build a relationship by asking questions pertinent to them. After that, we find out why this product is important to them and what items they have to have on this product. We then make sure it is available; show it to them; let them experience the product; give them reasons why they should do business at our location and ask them to buy it.
This is PRO-ACTIVE selling. This is taking control of the situation. It is professional. It is non-confrontational, and it gets helps break down customer defenses, as well as getting them involved in the transaction.
To truly reach your potential as a professional sales associate, you need to develop pro-active sales techniques.