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Never Sell a Hat That Doesn’t Fit


Would you buy a hat that doesn’t fit even if it was cheaper? Many salespeople try.

Last fall, I traveled to Eastern Europe with a group of executives. While visiting Heroes’ Square in Budapest, a street vendor approached me and asked if I’d buy a fur hat. The conversation went like this:

Street Vendor: You can buy my hat for 40 Euro.

Shari: Can I try it on? (She hands it to me) It doesn’t fit. It’s too small. Do you have another hat?

Street Vendor: No. It’s a nice hat. It’s made from beaver. Okay, 30 Euro?

Shari: It still doesn’t fit. I won’t wear it.

Street Vendor: Okay… 20 Euro plus another of the same hat.

Maybe there was a language barrier and the saleswoman didn’t understand what I said. Or maybe these were her last two hats and she just wanted to unload them and go home. The point is: to successfully sell, you must uncover the true objection and answer it.

Why would I buy a hat that doesn’t fit, even if it is cheaper? My ears were cold. I needed a hat that would cover them. Could I have torn the two hats apart and made one hat that actually fit? Not how I wanted to spend my vacation.

Closing isn’t about finding clever rebuttals to customer concerns or using sharp-angled boxing techniques. Closing is about having the compassion, patience, and heart to uncover the customer’s real concern, address it, and then close the deal.

Shari Levitin has an unwavering commitment to improving people’s lives through education, scientific research, inspiration, and experiences. She is an international Sales Strategist, Bestselling author of Heart and Sell, Keynote Speaker, and founder of Levitin Group and Levitin Learning online sales training.



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