I recently went to AutoZone, an auto parts store, to buy some new wiper blades for my car. My interaction with the sales person shows how effective recommendations can be delivered to your customers.
I asked the employee to help me find which blades I needed. He looked my car up in the computer and led me to the right aisle.
His friendly and helpful manner prepared the way for the next step.
Make the Recommendation
Then the magic began. He expertly upsold me to a higher priced set of wiper blades. I’m usually a penny pincher and too often buy based on price. So how did this happen?
He pointed to some blades and told me that I could buy those because they had “a moderate price but high quality.” My mind connected the dots and concluded that with the cheaper set I’d probably also get an inferior product.
Tell Me Why
The simple act of telling my why he recommended the product helped me draw the conclusion that he wanted all along: I should buy the more expensive item.
I thanked him for his help and stood staring at the shelf. I picked up the brand he recommended and proceeded to the checkout.
If the employee had simply pointed me at the aisle and walked away, I most likely would have bought the cheaper product. Even if he had said: “I recommend these,” without an explanation, I probably would have gone with the cheaper blades. It was only with the “why” attached to the recommendation that it becomes truly effective.
What are the results?
Was he right? So far, so good. We’ve had an inordinate amount of rain lately and the wipers have worked great.
The reality of a good product in action reaffirms the AutoZone guy knew what he was talking about. I’m therefore that much more likely to take his recommendation next time I’m in the store. Consistency is the key to repeat business.
When your customers view you as the expert, they will trust your recommendations. Build that trust by making solid recommendations supported by your reasoning. Be sure your customer knows why you are making a recommendation.