“Beating A Dead Horse”


Somewhere around 1859 an idiom was born.  Someone, somewhere close to horse racing, asked their jockey why they were “Beating A Dead Horse”.  Of course, they were referring to beating the horse to get it to go faster. The horse was tired, and no amount of “whipping” was going to make a difference … which was what prompted their question in the first place.  In any event, the idiom stuck.

I know, I know … “beating a dead horse” isn’t supposed to get you anywhere, but I’m going to take my chances anyway.  In this case, my “dead horse” is summed up in a single word.  But before I tell you, let me begin with a question.

Why do customers agree to move forward and agree to your recommendation for a next step in their shopping process?  Meeting with a lender, for instance … or defining value using the Value Map process …  or even taking a “test drive” using the Floor Plan Voting process?   If you haven’t guessed, the my ‘dead horse” is Customer Perceived Value.

Your customer isn’t going to agree to move forward just because you ask. They move forward because they – at this point – perceive enough value that it’s worth their time.  So,  just asking a customer to come back, or take a “test drive”, because that’s what your manager told you to do, won’t work.

Forward commitment depends on how successful you’ve been building customer perceived value.  And that parallels how well you’ve done developing your customer’s shopping sized problems into serious purchase sized problems – problems that they want to solve.  Make that happen, and your customer will want to accomplish almost any reasonable “next step” you recommend.

In a small sale, most likely there isn’t a second visit, so advancing the sale isn’t important.  You either make the sale or you don’t.  But if you’re selling a high-ticket product, advancing the sale is critical to your success.

Perceived Value and Advancing the Sale go hand-in-hand.  Once you build “Perceived Value” … gaining your customer’s commitment to move to the “Next Step” is easy.

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