How to Lose a Sale

Time to Read: Enough to lose a sale

Time to Listen: Next time you are with a customer!

Now, huddle up – losing a sale does not happen by accident, whether you are in retail, selling by phone or pitching for business – you must work very hard to lose. Here’s how to do it:

One. Shop

These are three effective techniques to get those annoying customers out of your store:

1. Show no interest whatsoever – if they come towards you start to gossip, or have an argument with another assistant.

2. Do the opposite – hassle them from the moment they walk in – the best way to do this is to invade their personal space and say “can I help you madam/sir.” Whatever they say don’t leave them alone, stalk them round the store– now this sounds polite, so you won’t get into trouble, AND you will lose the sale. Win-Win!

3. Memorize these three phrases to use, all will have a direct negative impact:

“Sorry, if it’s not on the rail then we don’t have it in store” (Bull’s-eye – they know you don’t know).

“I don’t know” (arrow hits subconscious and translates as “I don’t care”).

If they say “thank you” sigh, and say “no problem” or better still “it’s my job” (In other words, ‘I have to be like that’).

Two. Customer Calls

These are the three most effective techniques to really upset potential / customers on the phone:

1. Cold Calls – talk to the person with a familiarity that suggests you were once childhood friends. Early on, ask “are you having a good day today?” If they do answer, say “really!””

2. If you are calling an existing customer – have no details in front of you. Better still, ask them for their ten digit customer number in a way that suggests they should either know it off my heart, or tattooed on the back of their hand. When they say they don’t know it, audibly sigh and say as sarcastically as you can “well, I might be able to find it through your address.” Also, if you have to put the customer through to another department, make sure you pass on no details, or better, play some very annoying music interspersed with “your call is very important to us, please hold” and best of all, cut them off completely.

3. Three great techniques to ensure your customers never bother you:

Put them through to automated options, or better still, get them to answer an automated question, out loud. These things never work, and it’s great fun if your customer is in a public place.

Say, at any stage in the conversation when they mention something they have been told by someone else in your company: “I didn’t tell you that” – emphasise the I.

Be doing something else while they are going on and on – Solitaire is so addictive.

Three. Business Pitches

These are the four most effective techniques to lose a pitch – see if you can get them all in one session:

1. Do absolutely no preparation whatsoever.

2. Remember it’s all about you – so spend at least 30 minutes covering your company’s history, vision and values.

3. Run down your competitors.

4. Don’t answer the questions they ask – answer the ones they should have asked.


With my love and best wishes

David X

PS – For how to win and keep a customer! Book now for Powerful Customer Rapport

PS – And finally here’s a company (and a man) that have ignored everything above – Ford Retail’s customer service “Moments of Truth” campaign has just reached 20,000 moments – extraordinary, and well done John Leathem, who personally signed every card.

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