Sell Me Something Now

Sell Me Something NOW! That’s what I was thinking last week.

It was 6PM on Thursday evening.  Our family was in the kitchen having a casual conversation. The television was on in the background and suddenly my seven-year-old son screamed: “look at the TV!”

The picture had gone black.

The sound was still working but the picture was gone.

After fiddling with the remote control for a while I was convinced the television was broken.

“Dave, we are having company over to watch the game tomorrow night,” my wife said.  “Please go out and get another TV now so we can install it this evening.”

Our current TV was a 48-inch LCD TV mounted to the wall in our family room.

Off I went.

My first stop was Kmart. Those stores are generally a disaster but for electronics, appliances and tools, you can often get a good deal.

The place was empty.  Only a few customers were wandering around and the employees who were there were either engaged in the task of dropping pallets of product in the customer aisles or congregating in remote corners of the store whispering like they were plotting the overthrow of a regime.

Once in the electronics department I searched the shelves for a good deal.

There was on model that met my specifications.  SMART TV, 50-inches in diameter, and a good brand name.

Next I set out to find someone to help me buy it.

I searched the electronics department and no employees were around.  I checked the next department over – toys – nobody. The third area I searched was linen and, again, nobody to be found.

Finally, I went to the front of the store.  I asked a cashier for help.  She called someone on a walkie-talkie.

About 10 minutes later a man came up to me in the electronics section and said: “You need something?”

“I want to buy this TV,” I responded.

“We don’t have anymore.” he said and he started to turn away.

“Wait a minute. You didn’t even look in the back room. How do you know you don’t have any more?” I asked.

“None on the shelf below it.  That’s where it would be.” Replied the gentleman.

Before I could ask another question, he was gone.

There I was. Ready to spend money.  I basically had a sign on my head that said: “Sell me something now!” But the guy wasn’t interested.

Here’s why this matters for you:

People show up in your world all the time and you are too busy doing something else to take their money and provide them with something of value.

The guy at Kmart could have easily sold me one of the other TVs.  I would have purchased anything reasonable. But he didn’t even offer me an alternative.

Remember, when a client comes to you he is looking for something of value.  He may be asking for something specific but he will take an alternative as long as the value is clear.

Do not make assumptions or pass judgement on the client or his intentions.

Ask questions.

Understand what he finds valuable.

And when he says, “Sell me something now,” by all means, sell him something.