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Planting Seeds For Future Sales |  April 13, 2016 (0 comments)


Merrick, NY—We all know that people spend money on vacations. They buy mementos, gifts and yes, jewelry. So it should not be a surprise that when on vacation, one sees both great salespeople and a smart case of ‘planting seeds.’ On a recent family vacation, I saw both.

We were in Hawaii and two memorable sales-related experiences stood out. One was at a small store, where goods were sold relating to a local ranch. They had a range of goods, from stuffed toys for kids to real cowboy hats and lassos to handbags. Yes, it was the handbags (left) that caught my attention. The designs were smart and the prices surprisingly good.

The two that caught my eye accompanied me to the checkout, so that I could ask a few questions. The two differed in style and price and either one would have been a good purchase. The sales associate—female—smiled and asked if I wanted both. That questions actually made me pause and think about having both, which had not been a consideration. She answered my questions and developed a rapport with me. When she mentioned both bags, I was amused and even thoughtful, so she pitched it just right.

I wish I could say that I had bought them both but I left with one. We were in that area all afternoon and it did occur to me, several times, that I could go back and buy the second one. Clearly it’s still on my mind!

The second incident occurred as were checking out of the resort. The bellman was quite charming as he picked up our pile of luggage, and he was also determined to be helpful to us. He asked us questions about our afternoon and we all spent a good five minutes talking about great food choices near our afternoon stops and the airport.

Inside a waterfall on our Hawaiian vacation

He then asked when we would be back. “A year? Two years?” he said, as if everyone came back on a regular schedule. We laughed and said we’d think about it and then, surprisingly, we really did. We even discussed when it might be possible to come back later that afternoon in the car and again on the plane.

If he had not asked us that specific question, it’s much more likely we would have instead talked about ‘Where will we go next?’ Thanks to his query, we—adults and children alike—focused on what we all enjoyed about this vacation and why we might want to return. His simple question changed our dialogue. Very powerful.

What's not to love? An astute bellhop asked us when we'd be back, prompting thoughts of a return vacation rather than a new destination.

It was of interest that his question seemed genuine, based on his familiarity with other return customers, rather than a corporate mandate to ask every departing bag check customer when they planned to return. I don’t know if it was, but either way, our last customer interaction with the resort was an excellent one. He planted some excellent seeds that will likely grow. (More on planting seeds as a sales tool, here.)

Is there a moral here? To keep pushing your sales people to develop relationships where these types of questions are natural and appropriate. More sales will follow – these techniques work great on jewelry of course, not just handbags and vacations. 

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