Probably one of the most common issues salespeople face is getting information from a customer. Whether it’s a phone number or an email address, it’s often a stumbling block. But without a way to contact your customer, it’s going to be impossible to sell them something.

Be a professional, not an order taker

Like Kyle pointed out here, consumer habits and profiles have changed quite a bit over the years. That’s not to say they no longer need guidance from a sales professional. For many big ticket purchases – flooring, kitchen cabinets and counter tops, HVAC, windows – consumers will always need help from a pro.

Think about when you walk into a fast food restaurant. There’s someone there waiting to take your order. This is the equivalent of just sitting on showroom floor and waiting for someone to come in. It doesn’t make a lot of sense.

The easiest way to fix this is to make sure you’re collecting customer information when you’re with or speaking to someone. By doing this, you can maximize your downtime – since you’ll have information to follow up on. This is where we get into the “it’s not what you say, it’s how you say it”. Compare these two questions:

  • Can I have your email address?
  • I’d like to write you an email recap of everything we review today, since it’ll probably be information overload and this way you can review it on your own time. Would that be alright?

More likely than not, the second way of phrasing this will get you the customer’s email address. To top it off, they’ll actually appreciate the fact you’re going to send them everything you reviewed. They’re coming to you for guidance and insight in the first place, which is where the value is for them. Value is the only way to establishing a relationship.

You can apply this same principle to just about any question you ask. The golden rule here is to view this through the lens of “consumers only care about what I can do for them”. If you take that approach, you’re all but guaranteed a win.