Is that really reasonable?

I was in a mattress store a few day ago and overheard a customer talking to a salesperson (lets call her sally). I was quite impressed with sally. She was unbelievabally passionate. From the second the customer walked in the door, Sally greeted him with enthusiasm and seemed to have a great desire to fill his needs. You could just feel the rapport building. I thought to myself, “now that’s how a greeting is done, Sally is about to give me a lesson in sales”. But something interesting happened, Sally asked her customer, “what are you looking for”. Now, the problem was not the question, the problem was the way Sally responded to the customers answer. The customer said, “I’m just looking for something reasonable”. Guess what Sally did…. She told the customer she could do that and walked him right over the the cheapest bed in the store. I could’nt believe it.After that fantastic introduction, after building that great rapport she was going to do her customer the injustice of guessing what he meant by “reasonable”.

You may be thinking, “Sally didnt do anything wrong, she just did what the customer asked.” Here’s the problem, the term reasonable is relative. Everyone’s definition of reasonable is different based on income, past experience and future expectations.

Here is how Sally could have served her customer better:

1. Forget what reasonable means for you:
– How you define reasonable does not matter. Make sure you are focused on the customers need and not on your preferences.
2. Find out what reasonable means to your customer:
– We all have a different idea of what reasonable means. If Lebron James and I were both going shopping for a new car you can bet our opinions of reasonable would be very different.


3. Define the expectations post purchase:
– Your customers expectations of reasonable change depending on wether they are looking for a quick fix or an investment.

Your customers idea of reasonable may change after you have shown them what your higher ticket products are worth and how they can be benefitial for them.

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5 comments

  1. Great observation! It is the salesperson’s job to get the clarity. There are many words that carry the same subjectivity as “reasonable”. Clients and customers appreciate when a sales person asks for the clarity because it is a sure sign they are trying to better understand the clients needs. The better the client feels understood, the stronger their trust in the salesperson. Nicely done!

    1. Very true. Thanks for your comments Steve.

      1. That’s the best answer by far! Thanks for ctonriubting.

  2. Could not agree more, she read that comment completely wrong. ‘Assumptions allow the best in life to pass you by’- John Sales

    1. Great quote! Thanks for your feedback.

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