An extremely powerful strategy for Saving the Sale is to turn it over to another salesperson. This strategy is named the Turnover or T.O. I want to make it clear that I do not believe in a pushy and aggressive Turnover program. The customers’ best interests have to be foremost on your mind in giving and receiving a turnover.
In other words, if you as a professional salesperson have done everything “right” and then gotten the customers name, address, phone, etc. on the Customer Profile Card, and you really believe they are coming back and that it would upset the customer to turn it over, then don’t. In that situation, you may simply want to introduce the customer to a fellow salesperson in case you are not there when they return. For example: “Let me introduce you to Sue. Sue and I work opposite schedules, so if I am not here when you return you’ll have a familiar person to speak with.”
“Sue this is (customer name). She has been looking at this particular merchandise as a gift for her husband’s 40th birthday. She is going to come back in the next couple of days and I simply wanted to introduce her.” In this situation the incoming salesperson may be able to strike up a conversation and thus close the sale.
There are four major considerations or questions that we will explore in detailing the Turnover.
1) Why turn over?
2) Who to turn over to?
3) When to turn over?
4) How to turn over?
Why turn over? There are basically five “reasons” to turn over a sale. They are:
• Technical Information (Product Knowledge)
• Bad Vibes (VGI’s)
• Can’t Close
• Second Voice
Each are fairly apparent in meaning, but let me detail briefly. Personality could be anything from age, gender, accent, looks, or anything where you feel that the customer is uncomfortable with you. It could even happen that you are uncomfortable with the customer, but this should very rarely happen. Technical Information is a lack of Product Knowledge or any technical question you cannot answer completely or confidently. Bad Vibes or VGI’s (very good indicators) is when you are giving a demonstration and not receiving back any of your excitement and enthusiasm. Can’t Close is simply when you can’t get the customer to say “yes” or “I’ll take it” and you feel somewhere along the track you missed it. Second Voice could be anytime you need a fellow salesperson to come in and make a comment or statement in order to help make the sale. For example: Another salesperson tells the female customer that the jewelry she is trying on has always been her favorite and it looks absolutely stunning on her.
Who to turn over to? I would recommend in any type of turnover situation that you always introduce the person that you are bringing in as the expert by either title or justification. In other words, if you are bringing in the assistant manger then introduce that person by title as “Sue, our assistant manager.” By justification, I mean let the customer know “why” you are bringing this person in. For example, “Let me introduce you to Sue, she always has some great ideas.” The “great ideas” is the justification. Another example would be “to get a woman’s opinion.”
When to turn over? There are specific times during a sale when it would be the most appropriate time to turn over a sale. The last thing I would want to do is to turn over a sale too late. This would appear to be pushy and aggressive and would actually turn the customer off rather than turning them over. The correct time for each type of a turnover is as follows:
Personality – Initial Contact
Technical Information – Needs Assessment
Bad Vibes (VGI’s) – Demonstration
Can’t Close – Closing
Second Voice – Anytime during the sale
Next month we’ll discuss how to turn over.
Author, trainer, consultant, and speaker Brad Huisken is President of IAS Training. Huisken has authored several books and training manuals on sales and produces a Weekly Sales Training Meeting video series along with Aptitude Tests and Proficiency Exams for new hires, current sales staff and sales managers. In addition, he publishes a free weekly newsletter called “Sales Insight” For a free subscription or more information contact IAS Training at 800-248-7703 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit his website at www.iastraining.com.