I was in Las Vegas last week and must share a great sales lesson. Since I don't gamble, we went there for the food and entertainment. It was a great getaway and a wonderful break from sales automation.
Part of the reason for going to Las Vegas was to visit a hotel timeshare and learn about their program offering. Believe it or not, I like going to these things to learn something about timeshares and what is new. We bought our first timeshare about 18 years ago and now have 4 timeshare weeks.
Offer Number One!
We got to know the agent, John, and learned about him, what he did and he took an interest in us. He asked some great questions about how we like to vacation and travel. The first lesson I was learning was the importance of developing rapport and asking good questions. After learning enough about us, he made a pitch for his property and what the offer was. It was a good offer but not one that we wanted to exercise at the time.
I would learn later, the importance of having several purchase options and levels to increase sales. I would also learn the importance of multiple contacts and how a prospect will lower their defenses each time they feel they have overcome an objection or reason for purchasing now. Here is how it worked out; I think you will like this Las Vegas story.
Offer Number Two!
We didn't take the first offer to purchase another week and it seemed like the defensive stand we took was holding firm. The salesperson told us that generally speaking, most people go to these timeshare sessions with a pact that they won't buy under any conditions. We thought this was funny because, although we didn't make a pact before this meeting, we have made them before at similar situations like buying a car or furniture.
The salesperson left and came back with another offer that was about 3/4's of what the first offer was and it was different because it was for different seasons and less than we wanted. This didn't appeal to us either. They left us alone for a few minutes and returned. I loved this strategy because - we thought it was over again. So, our defenses went down again.
Offer Number Three!
They returned with a third option that now changed the scenario to an every-other year program and reduced the investment further. WOW, I probably shouldn't have been surprised but I was. This offer was tempting and we talked about it. I have to tell you that we really liked the program that was laying out for us. It was different from the other timeshares we have and we liked the program. Unfortunately, we decided that it wasn't a good time for us right now and we declined.
Well, they accepted our decision and they told us that another guy was coming to ask us a few questions and we would we done. I guess you could say that the defenses went down. Way down because we had defended our wallet successfully for the third time.
Offer Number Four!
The next guy came to us and asked us some questions about the program and we shared our positive impressions with him. This was not the wisest thing for us to do. He then pointed out a final opportunity for us to engage in the timeshare program. It was not really a program that required us to purchase the entire program, just to hold the pricing and give us a few months. Very, very tempting and I'm sure a lot of people can't resist the offer.
Multiple Contacts is the KEY!
All in all, there were 4 opportunities that they offered us. This made me think about what I offer in my company. Perhaps you are thinking the same thing at your company. I am now reviewing my product offering and changing it to contain at least three levels of support and programs for my customers. This way, if someone does not want to go with the first program, they can drop down a level and still become a customer. One of the other lessons I learned from this experience was how they left us alone a few times to talk alone and then return. This had the same impact of making several visits. The value of making several visits is a good thing for the salesperson. Multiple contacts works and we should use email, telephone, personal contacts and letters to make multiple contacts for the same impact.
Close When the Defenses are Down!
Leaving prospects alone, even if only for a few minutes allows their defensive purchasing shield to come down. If prospects think you have given up your closing tactics, you have a better chance of closing them. Your prospects might try to put the shield up each time but each time it isn't as high. Even if your prospects made a pact they wouldn't buy anything before the meeting, it will be hard for someone to keep the defense up. Each time the salesperson returns, the prospects has a weakened defense.
Last Lesson - Give Something Away!
One of the best things about timeshares is their use liberal giveaways. We were there for the FREE weekend they offered us and we added a few days at a great price. So, we felt obligated to listen to them. They fed us some nice snacks and the power of reciprocation is very strong. This is another reason businesses should be investing in give away items for their prospects. I remember when banks used to give away toasters for the same reason.
When you want to impact sales with advanced selling strategies - signup for Impactivator our sales e-newsletter. Selling Magic teaches businesses and salespeople how to automate and customize CRM programs. This article was written by Steve Martinez, President of Selling Magic, LLC. http://www.sellingmagic.com