Columnists Brian Barfield Lifting the veil: selling a Guarded Customer

Lifting the veil: selling a Guarded Customer

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Last month I shared with you the four basic customer types - Simple Minded, Demanding, Analytical and Guarded. Every customer that you meet will fall into one of these four categories. Understanding who these customer types are will allow you to meet their needs and give them the ultimate experience they desire. Once you are able to do this, a bond of trust is built that allows these customers to become the foundation of your most loyal customer base. This will eventually lead you to a lasting success.

Today I want to focus on selling the Guarded customer. These are the customers who enter your store with an invisible wall up to protect themselves. There are many reasons these walls have appeared. It could be a bad shopping experience elsewhere, a troubled past, or just a simple lack of understanding jewelry.

We could list numerous reasons for a customer to be guarded. All of these reasons have one common foundation called fear. It is fear that binds them from opening up and it is up to you to free them from their tormentor. When you learn to sell these customers successfully it is like giving them a gift as well as a pleasant shopping experience. It is the gift of freedom.

The first concept you must understand in selling a guarded customer is realizing that they are in control. They will decide whether to let you in or keep you out. How you treat them will determine the outcome.

One of the funniest things you will see on the sales floor is the pushy sales associate try to greet a guarded customer. They leave their desk full of confidence and are on a mission to get a sale. They charge full speed ahead and go in with a super strategy and, wham - they hit the invisible wall. “I am just looking,” says the customer. Stunned, they wander away wondering what just happened. This has happened to us all.

Once you realize that there is a wall between you and your customer, you must find a way to be invited in. Without an invitation success will be very limited. So remember that a guarded customer is always in control.

The next concept to learn in selling a guarded customer is to understand their value. Do you value them as your customer or are they just a sale? If you do not value your customer, then they just became your prey.  Have you ever watched the Discovery channel? What happens when the predator closes in on the prey? They run, and if you get close they will kick or do anything possible to get away. Every once in a while you will make a kill (sale), but that person will not be coming back to shop with you again. That is why I encourage you to value your customer and feed them with kindness and gentleness instead of killing them with pushy sales tactics. They will flourish and will come back to be fed time and time again. This is how you build a customer base with the guarded customer.

The third and final concept I will share with you today is honor and respect. Every guarded customer you sell is like starting a new relationship. If they choose you, then a courtship begins as you go through your sales presentation. Just like dating, they are looking to see if you are worth a life long commitment. If you treat them with honor and respect you will find yourself at the altar with your customer as you are closing the sale.

Anyone who has been married will tell you that the moment you lift the veil is powerful and amazing. That moment sticks with you forever. You now have the knowledge and power to create this moment with every guarded customer you sell.

What I have shared with you is a vision and a plan to successfully sell a guarded customer. Hopefully this article will help open your mind to find a greater understanding. If you would like a deeper understanding I have created a training seminar that is a road map designed to lead you to successfully selling a guarded customer. It is designed to give you in depth knowledge and skills to get past the wall and create a lasting relationship.

Next month I will discuss ways to sell the Demanding Customer. You will not want to miss it.

Brian Barfield is a trainer/senior sales consultant at The Gem Collection in Tallahassee, FL. Brian has over 17 years experience in the jewelry industry. He has had 9 years management experience as a store manager and spent the last 6 years as a million dollar sales associate. Brian has taken the knowledge he has obtained and has created a modern day road map for sales associates to find a greater success. He is also in the process of finishing his first book, “Branding Yourself to Build Your Customer Base.” To find out more information and training course guidelines you can reach Brian at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or via his website, www.moderndayselling.com.

 
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