Listening in for More Sales

Ask the right questions, then shut up to hear the right answers

If they say "yes," you've uncovered a chance to close a sale. I might respond: "I could hold it for you until next time. If you don't have the cash now, you could give me a deposit then. Do you want to commit to that?" (You need to know your customer to know if that is a good idea or not.)

Or here's another mirroring scenario:

Customer: "It's too big."
Jobber: "Are you saying it's too big to fit in your tool box? Or too big to use comfortably?"
Customer: "Neither. I think it's too big a price tag."
Jobber: "Well I do carry a less expensive one with fewer features. Are you interested?"


Sometimes a few follow-up questions can help you get the information you need to close a sale:

Customer: "The grip feels like it won't slip. But it's a little too light to me."
Jobber: "Is slipping or weight more of an issue to you?"
Customer: "Slipping. Definitely slipping."

Sometimes follow-up questions can help your customer realize you're looking out for them by asking good questions…

Customer: "I guess I'll take this one."
Jobber: "Before I write up the order, what do you think of the cordless version?"
Customer: "I never thought about it."
Jobber: "It costs a little more, but I like it. Let me ask you some questions about…"

As a jobber, I realize you're juggling a lot of balls everyday. Taking time to listen may sound like a waste of time. But in reality, if you had to choose between listening to your customer for a minute or talking for a minute, you'll stand to learn a lot more by listening.

Phil Sasso is president of Sasso Marketing Inc., an aftermarket advertising and public relations agency. Sasso is also a speaker, trainer and consultant. And his wife says he's a good listener. Sometimes. View his marketing blog at, or send compliments, comments or criticisms by email to

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