Redirecting a conversation is an extremely effective technique used by highly effective salespeople. Let me give you a good example.
Let me tell about a great example I witnessed. A man came into a store I was working with in search of a very particular pair of earrings. I didn't hear the entire conversation, but it seemed that somehow his wife had lost one earring of a pair he had given her. He told Debbie, the sales associate that he travels extensively and is always on the lookout for earrings that would replace the lost one.
Debbie asked him describe the earrings and then showed him some potential matches. None of them were a match, and the man said he would just keep looking. At this point one of three things can happen.
1. The sales associate can say she's sorry and wishes him good luck in his search.
2. The sales associate can provide somewhat better service than that by giving the customer the company's contact information to see if they can help him.
3. The sales associate can redirect the conversation away from the missing earrings to potentially buying a new pair.
Which is exactly what Debbie did. But redirecting is an art. If she had asked, "Why don't you just buy her a new pair of earrings?" he probably would have said no, because the other earrings were special to his wife.
Instead, Debbie smartly redirected the conversation from the missing earrings to talking about the customer's wife. As I've written before, Debbie shifted from "what" to "who" which is always more effective. Debbie quickly learned that his wife had conservative taste, liked a particular style, and then recommended two different pairs of earrings.
I'm happy to say that this man's wife received two pair of earrings when her husband returned home this week.
Debbie also made the sale for two other reasons besides using the redirect. The first reason is because she was focused on making a sale and not just helping the customer. Secondly, she also assumed that since her customer's wife loved that particular brand, he couldn't go wrong by bringing home new earrings instead of just reporting that he hadn't found a replacement.
How about you? Do you redirect conversations when appropriate? Redirecting is never rude or pushy if your goal is to deliver the best possible customer experience. Debbie used it not only to deliver a great experience but to make her customer a hero, too. Sounds good to me!
Try it yourself today. You may already be redirecting more than you realize, but by increasing your awareness you'll begin to see even more redirecting opportunities.
Doug Fleener, a proven retail and customer experience expert and consultant, helps companies dramatically improve their customer experience and their results. Visit the Dynamic Experiences Group website, or call Doug at 866-535-6331 to discuss how he can help you create an extraordinary experience and results.