How This One Little Question 3x’d Sales

furniture store

Over the weekend, I went to one of those big-box stores that camps a “greeter” by the front door.

As I marched past him, he barely lifted his eyes from his phone as he mumbled, “‘mornin.”

Some greeting!

Made me think of the great marketing consultant Jay Abraham and a story he told about a struggling furniture store. 

The store spent more than $200,000 per month on advertising. Plenty of prospects walked in the door, but too many walked out without buying. 

So with Abraham’s help, the store tested what happened when customers arrive. 

They scripted 33 different ways to greet people at the door. And they tested the different greetings over several weeks. 

There was a clear winner. 

“Hello. And what ad brought you into the store today?” 

When the store implemented that as the standard greeting, the number of walk-ins who walked out with a purchase increased 300 percent.  

Why? Because that question prompted a conversation between the prospect and the salesperson who greeted them. 

It invited the customer to reveal WHY they were there, what they needed. 

And it put the salesperson in a position to help immediately, to guide the prospect to the right place, to fulfill the prospect’s wishes. 

Abraham explains it this way: “It gave the interviewer authoritative control of the transaction because you could engage. (‘Oh, you came in for the bedroom suite. Is it replacing? Is it new? Are you moving?’) And all of a sudden, you’ve got more of a leadership role.”

Let’s boil this one down because it’s loaded with valuable marketing lessons you can apply in your business: 

  1. Engage. I marched past a million “greeters” who mumble throw-away lines like, “Welcome to our store” or “May I help you?” Rarely do they seek to engage, to converse, to interact. You don’t own a big box store, but you have countless opportunities to greet prospects. How do you engage?
  2. Ask.  At one of the big-box stores, they greet customers by handing them a flyer with the items on sale. “Here’s what we’re dishing out” vs. “Why are you shopping with us today.” You’ll sell more if you ask prospects questions, rather than tell them what they can buy.
  3. Test. 33 different greeting scripts, tested over several weeks. That’s why this store got a 300 percent bump. What can you test? 

This works for retailers who spend $200,000 per month on advertising. This works for coaches, consultants, and other service professionals who have modest advertising budgets.

Engage. Ask. Test. You’ll land more clients. 

Whenever you’re ready…here are a few ways we can help you become a storytelling stand-out so you’ll land more clients:

1) Follow Tom Ruwitch on LinkedIn and Facebook and (if not subscribed already) join our email list.

2) Attend our free training: “How to Harness the Magnetic Power of Storytelling…” Discover how to transform marketing from a confusing, resource-draining hassle into something that’s simple, fun AND productive. Details and registration here.

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Tom Ruwitch

Tom Ruwitch is the founder and CEO of Story Power Marketing. For more than 30 years, he has helped businesses grow by delivering powerful stories using a variety of different media.