The plan of action
A pro-clo always works to a plan action. He has a strategy, a sequence of events, a proven formula that he follows with each presentation.
Depending upon the product or service there are many adaptations of this plan of action, but a typical sequence of events will run something like this (assuming the appointment has been made.)
I think it is enough for me to say that nobody gets a second chance to make a first impression. Smile, be friendly, be polite and courteous. Shake hands- get the customer used to it. Remember to take control as soon as possible. Ask the customer to do something: ‘Would you come this way?, ‘Would you mind turning the television off, ‘ Is it all right if I sit here?’ and so on.
ii. Setting the scene
When you first meet a customer, his defense shield, that protective
Barrier, will be in place to product him form being sold, to protect
him from the unknown. The pro-clo chips away at this barrier until
it eventually comes down, until the customer is relaxed and
receptive. The best way to start this process is to put your cards on
the table and tell the customer what you are going to do. Once you
have done this the customer will no longer be afraid of the unknown
You will have made him aware of what is going to happen, and he
will start to relax.
If you give the customer an escape route, if you tell him in so many words that you’re not going to try and sell him anything and it’s OK if he doesn’t buy, he will relax that much quicker. I’m not suggesting you let the customer off the hook, I’m suggesting that you imply to the customer that this is what will happen if whatever it is you are selling is not for him. The pro-clo always makes the customer want the product, but the customer doesn’t know that. The technique of setting the stage will be covered in more detail later in this section (Step 16).
Warm the customer up before moving in to pitch him (Step 18, covered in depth on page 84). This is the crucial stage, the time when the sale can make or break even before the actual presentation. Here, through relaxed conversation (usually with a tea or coffee), the pro-clo builds common bonds, friendship, trust, credibility, warmth and makes the customer receptive.
Short and simple (covered in step 20)
Once you have made your presentation, recap before you close to make sure your customer understands everything and to make sure there are no last-minute doubts or questions. First, we tell them what we are going to do, then we do it, then we tell them what we’ve just done.
5. price /close
If you don’t work from a published price list, hold back the price until the end. Sell them on what they are going to get first, then tell them the price. When you go into a shop to buy a pair of shoes you don’t walk in and ask ‘How much are your shoes?’