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The sale depends on the salesperson as much as the product.

Many of  you know that I do product presentations; you know, the smiling woman in the department store who says, ‘try this’. This past Saturday I was in The Chef Shop in Gt. Barrington, New York presenting theKrups Espressaria EA 82 Automatic Espresso Maker. It retails for $799.00 and is not considered pricey as espresso machines go. Everyone in the store is very knowledgeable and friendly and the customers just love visiting.

By the way, consider having product demonstrations in your store. Anything with food or drinks will make your store feel  hospitable and homey and keep the customer a little longer. Two women were heading out the door and I yelled, “have an espresso before you leave.” They came back and spent $200.00 on a juicer!

It is designed and manufactured in France and comes in black and red!  Does the color make a difference? You bet it does.

What makes people buy? Let’s face it, they often buy because they like the salesperson and the product. I know we think they buy because they need the product. The last time I checked my closet there were lots of things that I didn’t need. All things being equal, liking the salesperson can tip the equation.

The other key is to  get the customer to experience your product even if they say they’re not interested. I don’t know about you, but I always assume they’re interested no matter what they say. Who wouldn’t be interested in an espresso machine that makes an amazing cup of coffee?

There were several who said they wouldn’t spend that much and would continue to visit their  local coffee shop  that has great coffee. I wondered, were they trying to intimidate me? I explained if the shop had great  coffee it was probably because  they had a good  machine which undoubtedly  costs about $14,000.

There were lots of amazed looks after that. Most had no idea of the price of  commercial coffee machine. I figured that my product would sound like a bargain in comparison and they would want to compare the two. I explained that my coffee was as good if not better than their favorite coffee shop.

Once I got them to try the coffee almost everyone wanted to know what kind of coffee tasted so good. Now I knew I was cooking. I had been practicing my ‘frothing’ for those cappuccino customers and was up on my Burr grinder.

As they watched me make the coffee they could see how easy the machine was to use. Many people are intimidated by what they perceive as ‘complicated.’

I explained that great coffee is a  combination of superior coffee and the  right grinder. In fact, the grinder can make all of the difference in the world. Of course you can grind it yourself but it’s hard to be consistent.

Actually I wasn’t selling; I was delivering customer service and making the customer happy. Here’s how you do it:

Get the customer to experience your product. This gives you the  the opportunity to explain the features and benefits of your product. Although many of the potential customers consider themselves to be coffee aficionados, they  have  little information about how to brew a consistent cup of espresso.

Make customers feel good about meeting you. Even if they don’t buy your product they will refer a friend.

Be friendly and accommodating. Don’t worry about their bad manners.

Educate your customers. Customers should always go away smarter and excited about your product.

And the red? Three people went home to measure their counter space after they saw the red one. Forget the grinding.

Lisbeth helps customers build loyal relationships with their customers through sales and customer service training. Need a speaker for your group? She can be reached at lcalandrino@nycap.rr.com.

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