Are You Selling Ice to Eskimos?

A few years ago, my wife and I took a trip to visit her Grandfather in Boise, ID.  Upon arrival, my wife and I laughed a bit seeing her grandpa try to use his new Samsung Galaxy s3 smartphone.  It was so advanced for him that he could barely make or answer a phone call.

After a few days of visiting, he lets us know that we needed to stop using his WiFi as he was being billed extra because of high WiFi usage.  I had never heard of this before and decided to call his internet and phone provider.

After a long wait, I finally got a hold of the young man who had sold Grandpa his WiFi package and Samsung Galaxy s3.  I let him know how disappointed I was in how he took advantage of my grandpa and sold him two things that he didn’t need.  First of all, grandpa did not and still does not need a smartphone.  He uses his phone simply to make phone calls to his children and to send the occasional text.  Plus, with all of the visitors and family he has at his house, the WiFi data plan that he was on was under-performing.  He needed unlimited WiFi access every month.

Unfortunately, this is a pretty common occurrence.  We are often sold things that we do not really even need or want.  As was the case with grandpa.  Too often, we hear the compliment in sales, “Wow!  They could sell ice to an Eskimo!”  But isn’t that phrase sad?  Does an Eskimo really need ice?  I don’t think so.

Sell your customers products they need, not what you want to sell.  While some sales may be smaller, you will get great referrals and plenty of repeat business.  Just think, if the phone salesman had asked grandpa just a few simple questions, he would have known that a smartphone and a limited WiFi plan were not the best options for him.  Instead of a happy customer, repeat business and great referrals,  He made a single sale and a very unhappy customer.

The Furniture Training Company provides great training on discovering customers needs to provide real solutions for their needs and problems.  You can learn more about our services and schedule a live demonstration of our training by going to www.furnituretrainingcompany.com.

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