A dear friend of mine was moving to a new apartment. She only wanted to take with her a curated batch of clothes, stuff, and furniture. Enter the yard sale. Happened to be a town-wide yard sale so customers were bound to be in abundance. And they were! The early risers were there and my friend had banked a cool $450 by 1130AM! More items moved to new, welcoming homes as the clock ticked.
Then the dreadful afternoon hours. Traffic slowed waaay down and the items on her sidewalk seemed to multiply. Remember, she did not want to cart these things with her to her new destination. Most items spoke for themselves - some nice clothing, housewares and such. As the time ticked on, we’re hoping for those last minute, late shoppers looking for the giveaways the sell offs for “free” b/c they are savvy - they know everything is discounted and prices slashed. Maybe we saw a few of those, but it was nearly over. Lots of sales but still lots of stuff to get unloaded and not have to move back inside...
Enter - a woman driving by with her head turned so far to our table that she made a u-turn in the street! What?! We’ve got one last holdout. YEAH! She makes a beeline toward the table - eyes locked on a pair of hand painted champagne glasses. My friend had received them as a gift from a wedding party she was in maybe 10 years ago. Very special pair with a special memory, AND still in the box and a unique style for a special place.
The customer is staring at the glasses and my friend approaches her, “Look, they are still in the box and they are from Macy’s, hand painted!!!” The shopper is not responding but for a gentle nod in the direction of “no” - she’s not buying. Then, I see a special gaze in her eyes. I nudge my friend as if to say, “let me take over…” so I did and seized the moment.
I casually ask, “I see you thinking about something other than the glasses. Looks like you’re planning something in those eyes!” She looks me in the eye with a smile and says, “Yeah, it’s my sister’s birthday and I’m throwing her a party!” BINGO!!!! So we didn’t sell her the glasses, I mean we did, but we really sold her the whole party - chips n dip bowl, napkin rings, other glasses, and some clothing too!
Do you see what happened there? We went from a box from Macy’s to a Party! Which sounds better to you?! All with an insightful, yet appropriate question or two. Again, you have to ask the right questions. Get inside your customer’s mindset.