I often receive questions from jewelry designers who are not sure how to break through to a customer who is unsure about the jewelry or confused. It is important to understand how to connect with this person in order to create a loyal customer who returns again and again.
There are all kinds of reasons why someone might say that they are confused or even act that way. For example, they may have come to the show where you’re exhibiting simply to “window shop” or see something new. If they had told themselves in advance that they were just there to look, buying something creates “cognitive dissonance,” which means that they would be doing something that conflicts with a prior thought or attitude that they held. (Compare that with someone who goes out with the full intention of
buying something no matter what it is. That person rarely leaves without something in her hands!)
Another reason why someone may say they are confused is that there are too many options in front of them. In fact, studies show that people who go to a store intending to buy an item often leave without buying anything
if there are too many options. Cognitively, there seems to be a limited number of options that we can process efficiently, and when our brain gets overwhelmed, it shuts down.
Finally, some people are not good at making decisions to matter what the context and they may prefer to take their time, go away and come back later, ask their Uncle Phil for his advice, or flip a coin to help them make
up their mind. One thing to keep in mind is that usually people who are confused don’t like to stay in that uncomfortable state. In fact, their discomfort can make you uncomfortable too.
I think you want to make sure — as a seller — that you are not becoming anxious and far of a prospect who is confused. Your discomfort or impatience will help them make up their minds.
Next, you might want to simply mention what you are observing. “It seems like you’re thinking about what you want to do,” for example, or “I wonder if you’re having a tough time deciding what to do.” Simply acknowledging that can ensure that you are correct in your initial assumption.
Next, ask them what they are thinking. That simple question can help them sort out and explain what choices they are wrestling with. It can also help reduce their anxiety as they began to what their choices are with you.
Never assume that there’s a rational reason behind why they are stuck. It’s not always just a case of logically reviewing the pros and cons of each choice with them. It might be more helpful, in fact, if you ask them what
you could do to help them make up their mind.
If they still seem confused or indecisive, you can take some of the pressure off by giving them your card along with a photograph of the items they are looking at (always keep a camera at your booth for just this reason). Tell them to take their time, think it over, and that you will be ready whenever you are. Showing that you’re not desperate to make a sale can go a long way towards establishing a solid relationship with your prospects.
How do you handle the confused costumer?
To selling more!