Why Everyone MUST Sell

I wear glasses. I don’t like them.

They fall off when I’m rock climbing, they reflect the studio lights when I’m recording the Salesman Podcast and are distracting to the audience.

Contact lenses I hear you cry?

They’d be great apart from I’ve got eye lashes the length of a 14 year olds emo fringe and so by the time I manage to get them in, my eyes are so red and sore it looks like I’ve just come back from the dead to stagger round and eat brains.

I want to invest in some high priced, anti glare specs to see if they look better on video.

Usually I book an appointment at a high-street chain opticians, grab my prescription and then order my glasses online but not today…

Buying New Glasses, Simple Right?

Buying online is by far the cheapest way to upgrade my face glass but it takes a while for the delivery and you’re never sure what is going to turn up.

There is an independent opticians literally 40ft away from my house in Roundhay. I rang them this morning to see if I could pay for an eye examination/prescription and made it clear I was happy to pay for the opticians time as I was intending to buy my glasses online.

A lady picked up and her response shocked me…

“Well there’s not anything in it for the optician is there?” PAUSE…

Now I’m pretty good at ‘effective pauses’. I’ve been practising them since Chris Voss explained how important they are in a recent episode of the Salesman Podcast.

But this lady went next level.

In my gut I could feel her pulling faces down the phone, probably looking across the room, pointing at the handset and mouthing profanities.

She berated me with a few other sarcastic whips of her tongue and then I hung up.

The message? We’re not going to give you the low priced service of an eye examination if you’re not going to spend hundreds on glasses from us.

End of discussion. *click, dial tone…*

She didn’t just lack any questioning or sales skills, she had no intention of ever engaging with me.

It left me with a horrible taste in my mouth and prompted me to stop editing a podcast episode and write this post to get it off my chest.

I wish I could explain this to the companies managing director two fold –

  1. Clearly I’m not going to slag them off directly over the internet. With my reach this post would likely come above their homepage in the search engine results and so cost them a lot more than just one customer!

    But in person, hell yeah. If that company comes up in general conversation, I’ll of course share my experience with them.

  2. More importantly though, they could have easily sold me!

I’m Easy To Close

I’m 100% certain that if they’d have got me in the door, after I willingly paid over the odds for an eye test because of the convenience of the stores location and suggested I’d look cool in front of my audience with X frame… I’d have bought them.

If I’d have been asked “that’s fine, why do you buy your glasses online out of interest?” I’d have explained that it’s really less about the price and more about the convenience.

A “well when they’re delivered to the store, we’ll pop over and put them through your letter box” would have sold me.

My mind is blown in writing this how many different ways the lady could have added value to me, far beyond the money I’d save by buying online by just asking a few simple questions.

It makes me wonder if the UK’s high-street shops are being closed down and boarded up, not because “everyone is buying online” but simply down to their staff not being trained in selling the unique value they offer?

I spend £60-200 every 6 months on glasses as I’m constantly breaking them.

An opticians 40ft away from my home, that look after me and aren’t only happy to engage with me if “there’s something in it for the opticians” are of course going to get all my business for decades to come.

Until they realise that you’ve got to give value before you take cash in the internet age I’ll be buying from GlassesDirect.co.uk.

Everyone customer facing must know how to sell otherwise the business they represent is going to die.

Will Barron is the founder of Salesman.Red and host of the Salesman Podcast where he entertains hundreds of thousands of millennial salespeople every month. If he isn't recording or editing shows he's racing his RX8 or riding bicycles down mountains.

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