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Have You Heard the One About the Texting Couple?

The husband and wife sit across the desk from you. They are friendly enough, but you can’t help but get a sense that something unspoken is going on. Adding to the weird vibe is their almost constant reading and typing of text messages.

You and I both know there is another conversation going on here…and you’re not in it. So what should you do?

First of all, acknowledge to yourself that you do not have a trusting relationship with your buyers. You can either let it go, or tackle it directly.

Now, far too many of you, regardless of your position, walk around these days as if your customers are about to play the ace. You’re afraid of doing or saying anything that might make them uncomfortable or possibly “scare” them away This is no way to live — or sell.

(I knew a salesperson who was adamant that you should never ask the customer anything to which the person might say, “no.” Really? Do you like blue? No. Theory destroyed.)

I’m not suggesting that you be belligerent, by any stretch of the imagination. Nor do I believe that your relationship with customers should be adversarial. However, I do believe that assertive salespeople are significantly more successful than timid ones.

If you’re scared to death of losing the business, let the texting transgression pass. But if you’re like me, and you don’t want all the business — just the best business — read on.

Reduce the Tension

I like to reduce stress and tension with humor. So in a light-hearted tone, I might address the texting couple with one of these questions:
  • Are you two participating in some sort of texting contest?
  • Are you two phoning a friend or what?
  • Is there some conversation going on that I’m not aware of?
  • If you’d like, you can add me and it can be a group text.
Then I would shift my tone to something more earnest: “In all seriousness, at our dealership, we believe in open and honest relationships. So if you have any concerns or questions, I’m happy to address those now.”

Give a try and see how it goes. Then shoot me a text.