If I were to mystery shop your community, would I find stuff that makes me crazy or would I be filled with pure delight?

By Will Nowell

Mystery shoppers get to observe, listen to and compare hundreds of sales people doing their thing.  

Here are the two top things that drive mystery shoppers crazy, plus some suggestions on how to fix the problem.

Number 1: Talking Too Much

More than 50% of the time mystery shoppers report sales people talk too much.

It’s an odd thing, but according to Gallup “the gift of gap” is seen as a desirable trait for salespeople. While it may be true that people who are more social may have a slight selling advantage, it is also true that the number one complaint of prospects is that the salesperson talked too much.  

Take Control of the Conversation  

Good salespeople take control of the sales conversation early. Here are 3 easy steps to make that happen:

  1. Assume your prospect will ask you three or four questions before you start talking. 
  2. Have a script that is sort of a “go to” for taking control of the conversation. Here is what mine looks like: 

    “Oh, Mrs. Geller, I understand that you want to get the prices before we get too far in our conversation. I would be happy to get the prices for you. In order to provide the right information, can I ask a couple of questions and gather some basic information?”

  3. Be prepared with a few questions. Once you get permission to take control, make sure you don’t stumble. Be ready with your questions. If you don’t do this, prospects will sense the opportunity and start asking questions again.

Number 2: Not Listening

The second thing that drives mystery shoppers crazy is that salespeople don’t listen.

Salespeople must be interested in and relate to the answers given by the prospect. The process of active listening is the single most powerful way to build trust and rapport in a relationship. That rapport then becomes the base from which the sale can be nurtured and closed.

Be A Better Listener

Here are three ideas that sales people can use to be better listeners: 

  1. Leave distractions at the door so you can completely focus on the person in front of you. My secret for this is to take notes. It has been said that a short pencil will beat a good memory every time and it’s actually hard to get distracted when you’re taking good legible notes.
  2. Read your notes and repeat what is shared immediately after the prospect finishes a thought. Repeating what is shared demonstrates respect and has the added benefit of helping the prospect clarify and organize what is on their mind.
  3. Be curious and interested in what is shared by the prospect, ask questions and clarify their comments to help focus the conversation on the most important ideas and issues and, most of all, show some empathy when appropriate.

If I were to mystery shop your community, would I find stuff that makes me crazy or would I be filled with pure delight?