Ever notice how most sellers don’t ask enough questions?

Well this Saturday I was out looking to replace a few things I needed, and nobody asked me enough questions. They never do.

One thing I needed was a new suitcase. I have been using one of the original TravelPro suitcases for years. I’ve had it almost as long as I have been selling.

Now I am not big into getting new things just for the sake of getting something new and exciting. I prefer to get quality items that last a long time.

Anyway, the first suitcase I looked at was a Tumi. They had it on display at Nordstom’s, which I found a bit odd as Nordstrom doesn’t normally sell luggage.

It was three hundred bux, and looked quite nice. Upon inspection though, it didn’t have much to sell it other than the Tumi name and styling.

So moving on I later went into Sears. Sears had a bunch of suitcases in various sizes and colors.

They had a couple in just the right travel size I wanted for less than forty bux. But these were all too flimsy, and didn’t have enough stowage pockets. So I was outta there and on to another place.

Next I actually found a real luggage store. Turns out there aren’t many left these days. Most of them went out of business after 9-11.

First thing I saw upon walking in was more Tumis. Checked the first tag, and nine hundred buckaroos. I kept walking and checked more tags. Ouch. These were a bit ridiculous for me.

I wasn’t so sure I was going to find a suitcase yesterday

Then a sales lady came and helped.

She asked if I was specifically looking for a Tumi. I replied no, that five to eight hundred dollaroonies wasn’t what I wanted to drop on a small travel case. She said that she agreed and that I should come back and look at another type she had in up on the back wall.

She then showed me two models from this one maker. Briefly she told me the differences, and then I picked one I wanted to look at and started unzipping it and checking it out.

After looking at the other of the two models, I decided on the first one, gave her my plastic magic card and I was done.

All told I looked at five different travel cases Saturday at three different places. One seller was helpful, but no one really asked me enough questions. The woman who got my business got it more out of "right place right time" than any sales skill.

Every time I get something new where I have choices and I don’t already know what I want, I go through a similar process. I evaluate three to five models at anywhere from one to five places.

This is called a buying pattern. It’s my pattern. And it is very consistent across nearly everything I get that requires buckaroos.

Everyone has a pattern, and most people’s are similar to this one. Most people need to look at three or more options, though not necessarily from different places. This is one reason why places offering a big variety can do so well.

This is important to understand for all sales people. Business and individual decisions are influenced by the key decision-maker’s needs to have a similar number of three or more choices.

Try and short cut this number of choices and close early and you likely won’t get a decision out of many people. And the few times that you do, the higher chance you have of post decision remorse kicking in from the one you sold it to.

So how can you use this?

Make sure your prospects get at least three options to look at.

Ask lots of questions so you know what options to structure and show to them.

If they say they are only looking at you, find out how many other’s they have looked at. If they say you are the only one, and you are first, then expect that they will need to look at least two more and position yourself to for a follow-up meeting to discuss "more information" after they have looked for those others.

Sell with Pride,

Shameless Shamus

P.S. There is a real art to questioning. Master this art, and you can command your prospect’s inner emotions to want to give their business to you. This is all covered in the Persuasive Selling Skills Audio Program. Go get a copy for yourself now.