Got A Waffling Customer? Push Her Over The Edge!

“If you want to avoid being stuck with inventory or downtime during a recession,” advises Seth Godin in a post at his eponymous blog, “you might profit from realizing that people [now] tell themselves a different story when they go to buy something.” Two years ago, your customers might have said: “My time is really valuable, [so] it’s okay if this is a little more expensive than the store down the street.”

These days, however, they willing to wait until the story they tell is, “I got a steal!” It would be a mistake, argues Godin, to respond by cutting prices across the board. Customers will likely interpret this not as a good deal, but as a sign that your company is in trouble; further, it reduces revenue from clients who didn’t expect—or even want—a discount in the first place. Instead, Godin proposes giving every member of your staff the authority to knock 10 percent off the price of a product if a customer asks for a break or hesitates to close the sale.

“For retailers or personal selling situations,” he says, “you can give your staff a pile of ‘manager’s coupons’ that they can just whip out … peel one off and quietly hand it to the waffling customer.”

Godin concedes that no one wants to employ a strategy like this. “But it might be something you have to do,” he says. The alternative is “shoppers who walk out of the store and leave you with nothing.”

Source: Seth Godin’s Blog.

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