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Best ways to meet and greet prospects

On days like today I have floor time where I sit and the desk and take walk-ins and incoming calls. Normally I'm out beating the bushes. When people come in I say "hello" and "how can I help you?". Is there already a list of best ways to meet and greet prospects? - by Thomas
On days like today I have floor time where I sit and the desk and take walk-ins and incoming calls. Normally I'm out beating the bushes. When people come in I say "hello" and "how can I help you?". Is there already a list of best ways to meet and greet prospects?
I don't know if there's a list on this forum - someone else can undoubtedly answer that, but here's my favorite question:

"What brings you into our dealership today?" - by Skip Anderson
"What brings you into our dealership today?"
I can work with that. Thanks Skip. thmbp2; - by Thomas
IMO... ask a question like that and you're wide open for them to say the old "we're just looking around... thanks" which creates immediate resistance and not only are you at a stand still, it sounds phony.

A good option, and one I learned from Tom Hopkins along the way, is to go for several smaller yeses leading to the big yes at the end. Never ask "say no" type questions... Ask questions that give you the information you need to know and that lead you to the close, which if done properly, they will take care of by themselves.

If you'd like a specific example of a retail opener he gives, let me know and I'll post. - by bluenote
IMO... ask a question like that and you're wide open for them to say the old "we're just looking around... thanks" which creates immediate resistance and not only are you at a stand still, it sounds phony.

A good option, and one I learned from Tom Hopkins along the way, is to go for several smaller yeses leading to the big yes at the end. Never ask "say no" type questions... Ask questions that give you the information you need to know and that lead you to the close, which if done properly, they will take care of by themselves.

If you'd like a specific example of a retail opener he gives, let me know and I'll post.
Bluenote, yes, please do post a retail opener from Tom Hopkins.

Back when I was a sales trainer for a national chain of furniture stores, I did an ongoing study wherein I had separate groups of sales reps use the following opening questions on a busy Saturday:

- May I help you?
- How can I help you?
- Is there anything special you're looking for?
- What brings you into our store today.

And a couple others that I can't remember.

The group who asked "May I help you" and "Is there anything special you're looking for?" received about 75-80% "shut down" responses such as the one you illustrated in your post. (This was 17 years ago, so I don't have the written data anymore or the exact percentages). "How can I help you" was better with about a 60% negative response, and "What brings you into our store today" receiving about a 25-30% negative response, if my memory serves me correctly.

Ever since, I've taught "what brings you into our store today" as the best opening question in a walk-in setting (showroom sales, retail sales, etc).

Whenever I work with a retail company, and we talk about opening questions, I always invite participants to let me know if they use an opening question that they believe is more effective than "what brings you into our store today." In all those years, I've never had anybody tell me they had an opening question that was better. Having said that, I am always looking for more and better information, so if you or any SalesPractice participants have opening questions that they think are better, please do post them! I think it's a very valuable discussion to have considering the number of people selling in that kind of environment.

I agree that you should never ask a closed question as an opening question. I'm not sure what sounds "phony" about "what brings you in today" (other than there's a certain artificiality to the dynamics of the salesperson-prospect relationship at the beginning of a sales interaction in a retail setting), so if you have further comments about that I'd like to hear them.

Thanks.

One downside: 3 or 4% answered "my car" in an effort to be cute or funny. So I would always laugh, and ask them what kind of car they had, and then I follow up with something like, "well I'm glad your car brought you in today. What do you need at our store?" and then most prospects would tell us.

The best to you! - by Skip Anderson
On days like today I have floor time where I sit and the desk and take walk-ins and incoming calls. Normally I'm out beating the bushes. When people come in I say "hello" and "how can I help you?". Is there already a list of best ways to meet and greet prospects?
How about a simple "Hello, My name is James Smith?" Then wait for a response. - by Wonderboy
How about a simple "Hello, My name is James Smith?" Then wait for a response.
I can try that too. Thanks Wonderboy. - by Thomas
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