I was in Times Square last week and, while walking down 42nd Street, I passed a young man hawking discount tickets to one of the area’s tourist sites. In a voice feigning enthusiasm, he recited, over and over, “Madame Tussauds wax museum. Get a $6 discount. Madame Tussauds wax museum. Get a $6 discount.”
From the few minutes as I approached, and then passed him, I didn’t see anyone stopping to buy a ticket. I turned around and walked over to him and asked, “Are you compensated on the basis of how many of these tickets you sell?”
“Yes,” he said. “I’m paid hourly and on commission.”
“Why would I want to go to Madame Tussauds?”
“We have over 150 celebrity figures!” he said.
“Do people know that’s what’s in the wax museum?”
“I’ll bet a lot of people don’t even know what Madame Tussauds is,” I said. “There are a lot of international tourists in Times Square. You need to tell them why they should go to Madame Tussauds. Get them excited about what the experience will be all about! Try yelling out, ‘Get your picture with Beyonce! Get your picture with the Avengers!’ Your customers need more information so they believe that this is something they shouldn’t miss! Get them thinking, ‘Wow! A picture! Beyonce and me!’”
He laughed and shook my hand. “Thanks for the tip.”
It’s the most important question to answer in sales and the easiest to overlook: “Why?”
Why should a client buy from you? And why you instead of your competitor? Why is your company different? Why is your offering different? Why will they get better service/innovation/value from you as opposed to someone else?
The client needs to fix a problem, meet an interest or improve its environment. In order for the client’s mind to reach the conclusion: “I choose you!” there has to be a foundation of why “you” are the best choice. If the client doesn’t know why to choose you, then it will be obvious why they don’t!
On my way back to the office, I tried to ask the ticket vendor how the new technique was working, but he was in the middle of a sale. He gave me a smile and a wave.