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Canadian Business

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Winning new customers

“I straight away find out their interests. There’s a tiny thread between you and any person out there, whether it’s on the phone or in person, and you have to find that thread so you can speak in a language they will best understand. If I’m talking with a client who’s an engineer, for example, I may talk about how a piano works or what goes into making it.”

Lost sales

“A lost sale is never a lost sale. Even if a person walks out the door and buys another piano, it just means the fit wasn’t right between the product and the client that day. If you’ve done the right thing and educated them, a lost sale is an opportunity for a referral. It may turn out that their brother is looking for a piano.”

First soft, then hard

“I will never suggest a client buy something that day, because the piano of their dreams may not have been made yet. I will tell a client “I understand we may not have the right piano, but when I find it and you get the call from me, that’s when I will get a little pushy. When I think a match has been found, expect me to ask you for a refundable deposit.”

Take the time

“I had one client in her 60s. This woman saved for years, and she came in with maybe $1,500. It took me 18 months to find the best piano for her grandson-for $1,500. Working on commission, it paid for my lunch. But I didn’t care.”

 

Originally published May 9th, 2011 in Canadian Business