It May Be What You Don’t Say

Many times in sales it may be what you don’t say that makes the difference between a sale that is made and a sale that is lost. We all know in many cases the customers don’t openly express their concerns. Other times they don’t even know what their concerns are or what will convince them to buy or not. Customers tend to say things like “I’ll be back,” “I need to think about it,” or “This is the first place I have shopped” when there is still doubt in their mind. It all goes back to selling yourself and selling your store. The customer must trust you and your store and find value in both the merchandise and in buying it from you. It is your job to address all the concerns of the customer. Whether spoken or not, they are still legitimate concerns.

For example, if a guy is looking to buy an engagement ring, he is about to make a life-changing decision. He may be thinking, I wonder if she is really the right one? Will the relationship last? Will she say yes? He has legitimate concerns. He may not say to you, “What is your return policy”? But when you don’t mention your return policy or tell him “your company story” regarding returns, he may leave your store with an unresolved concern. Then upon visiting another store the next salesperson happens to mention that they have a 30-day return policy. Which store do you think he will buy from? The store that neglected to mention the return policy or the store that relieved his concerns by letting him know he can return the ring if she happened to say no?

You can’t guess what is going on in the customer’s mind—you have to ask questions. Furthermore, you have to empathically put yourself in the customers’ shoes to understand what they may be thinking or the concerns they may have. What you don’t say may be causing you to lose valuable sales. Sell yourself and the store by verbalizing things that many times go unspoken.

Author, trainer, consultant, and speaker Brad Huisken is president of IAS Training. He publishes a free weekly newsletter called “Sales Insight.” For a free subscription or more information on training, contact IAS Training at 800-248-7703,, fax 303-936-9581, or visit the website at