In the last post, we continued analyzing an example of a “retail” sales dialogue—a homebuilder with model homes open to visitors. In our previous installment, the prospect revealed that she is interested in the development’s equestrian center and surrounding open space, although she still harbors thoughts of turning a garage into a barn, and her price range is in the low 200’s.
My comments regarding what’s going on in the conversation are in (parentheses).
Salesperson: What do you know about Scott’s Acres? (Asking.)
Prospect: Well, I’ve heard that it is more of a country setting. I heard about the equestrian center, I see lots of trails.
Salesperson: So, that feels maybe a little bit more like home, Sharon? (That’s using Emotional language and asking.)
Prospect: Somewhat, but I’ve also heard some negative things. I read in the newspaper about this road that is going to go through the center of the community. Is that going to make it bad here? My grandkids come to visit once in a while, and I want to be sure that they’re safe. The other thing is that when I was out riding around I saw this new construction going on in the north end, and then there’s the mall, right there. I don’t know anybody who’s going to want to live with a
Salesperson: Well, that’s exactly what I have here, I deﬁnitely do, if you’re looking at homes in the low 200’s I’m a good person to talk to about that. But, you’re concerned, it sounds like, that the setting might not be too great.
(Personalizing, listening, focusing on the “good news” rather than the negativity ﬁrst. Notice that this is an example of good Listening—we’re paraphrasing what the prospect just said when we say, “You’re concerned that the setting might not be too great.” That doesn’t mean that we agree that the setting isn’t too great, it just means “I heard you.” Can you see how taking this approach might give a prospect more conﬁdence in us? She’s heard some negative things, but she still came in—let’s keep her talking.)
Prospect: Well, I’m just not sure about that. Can I go look at the models right now?
Salesperson: Absolutely can. Why don’t we do that, and after you’ve had a chance to take a look, I’d like to chat with you a little more and see if there’s a way that there would be a ﬁt, or maybe it’s not a ﬁt for you. Fair enough? (That’s answering her question, and asking.)
Salesperson: Okay. Well, let me walk you out and we’ll take a look at the ﬁrst model, which is the Desert Bloom model. And you can see what you think. They’re all arranged out here so you can walk through any that appeal to you. And in terms of the ones that are in the low 200s, that would be the Sage model and the Mountain Air at under $200,000 and the Coyote at $210,000. And so, you’d want to look at those especially. (That’s providing information based on what the prospect told you about her circumstances— rather than just general information.)
Prospect: And, is this the price that I can expect to buy this house for, or are there other things? When I look at the houses, is that what I’m going to be able to get for my money when I look at the models? (Pain. Asking.)
Salesperson: Well, it’s pretty much what you’re going to be able to get for your money. We can talk about options and things that you can do to customize. But, essentially you’re seeing what’s possible when you go through the model homes. So, why don’t we do that? I’d be interested in your impressions. (Answering.)
Salesperson: Okay! (Enthusiasm!)
Had you been the salesperson, would you have rushed your prospect into a model home? Can you see why that might have been a less productive approach?