An expert sales trainer walks into a car dealership and… sounds like the beginning of a good joke. That’s what happened on Monday. And, yes, I am the expert sales trainer… thanks for noticing.

It is my full time job to know all the tips, tricks, strategies, skills and all the other buzz words for “stuff” about sales. I study human dynamics and the principles of influence for a living. And yet… once I knew I wanted what I wanted, all of that went out the window. 

I’m not saying I was sold, I’m suggesting that there was nothing anyone had to do to sell me… I had already done that all by myself. But, alas, there was a wrinkle.

The make & model of the car I wanted was in high demand and the dealer had zero incentive to wheel and deal with me on it. It was just enough outside my comfort zone that I wasn’t willing to sacrifice other things to buy this one thing so I was about to leave disappointed. 

Then I went to the ladies room. (not a strategy I am suggesting, just a fact in the story).

When I came out of the ladies room the salesperson asked, “Would you be open to considering a slightly bigger version of the car you wanted?” 

Initially, if he had suggested that first, I would have said no, but now that I knew I couldn’t buy the car I thought I wanted, I said, “I guess I could, why? What do you have in mind?”

He had a car with 5000 miles on it that was fully loaded with all the bells & whistles I wanted and it was in the price point I was willing and able to afford. 

Are you offering your prospects alternative ways to work with you?  Are you bringing them options and allowing them to choose for themselves or are you deciding for them that they aren’t interested?

When I walked into the dealership I wouldn’t have been interested in that particular model. But then I got new information… it’s not financially responsible of me to purchase the car I originally wanted… so, the option I was closed minded about 30 minutes ago was now a really great solution.

It is not a salesperson’s job to decide that the prospect can’t or won’t be able or willing to buy. It is also not a salesperson’s job to decide that the prospect won’t be open to considering another option… even options they were not considering 30 minutes ago. 

Now, go out there and sell something… I’m going for a drive!