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How to Close a Sale: The Story of 10,000 Shirts

How to Close a Sale: The Story of 10,000 Shirts
How to Close a Sale: The Story of 10,000 Shirts

By Ann Convery

This story comes from from Thomas Witt of the Thomas Witt Consulting GMBH, Germany cataloging the most amazing sale I’ve ever heard of.

The 10,000 Shirt Close

It was right after Christmas. An elegantly dressed

woman in her late 50s named Rose, entered an upscale

furniture store. She chose a walnut bedroom suite,

a mahogany dining room table, and pale green carpeting.

Her account exec, Jim, noticed that

she clearly was thrilled by her choices.

They sat down to finalize the sale

and Jim brought out his sales sheet.

“Oh, no. I’m not going to buy anything

before I talk to my husband,” she said calmly,

sitting comfortably on a Regency chair with her designer bag.

“But we’re having an after-Christmas sale

and you won’t get this price for another year,” said Jim.

“My husband has made all the money

in our 28-year marriage, and he makes all

the financial decisions. I’ve never made

any money in my life, so I don’t decide

what to buy,” Rose said, softly.

She could not take her eyes off the walnut dresser.

At this point Jim could have continued

telling her what a great deal she was missing,

but he was smarter than that.

“OK,” he said, “I’m married myself

and I totally understand that you don’t
want to buy this today. But just so I

understand, you’ve really never made any money yourself?”

“No, never,” said Rose, flatly.

“Rose, just because I want to understand,

have you ever ironed your husband’s shirts?”

“Of course I have!” flashed Rose,

“I’ve washed and ironed all his shirts,

and my children’s clothes too.”

“Well, the cost of a dry cleaner is $2.80

per shirt, and allowing for vacations,

Rose, you’ve ironed 10,000 shirts in 27 years.

That’s $28,000,” said Jim.

“That’s my job,” said Rose as she

continued to stare at the bedroom set.

“And have you ever cooked for your husband?”

“Of course I cook for him!” Rose snapped.

“Every night of his life!”

“Well, the cost of a dinner at a medium-priced

restaurant is about $60,” said Jim. “That’s $655,200.

If we allow for inflation it’s about $350,000.

When we include your children, it’s about another $393,120.”

“And Rose, you make the beds, right?”

Jim continued, gently probing for how much

Rose actually did in her marriage.

Soon he said, “Rose, adjusted for inflation,

you’ve made $880,000 in your life.”

There was a moment’s pause.

Then Rose opened her elegant,

cosmetically enhanced mouth and said…

“Oh F*** it! Where do I sign?”


Are you willing to hold up a magnifying glass

to see what’s stopping your prospects? Online or off?

Or are you too polite, too shy, or too nice

to do something so “intrusive”?

When you find out the real “Deal Stopper,”

they will either convince themselves, like Rose,

or get real with you about how they can work with you.

And sometimes, they just can’t work with you.

But if you’re not willing to ask, you won’t get the answer.

Or the client.

If you’d like to hear an actual demonstration

of this technique from Thomas Witt, one of

Europe’s top sales trainers, join us on March 19th

For “7 Secret Scripts for Success.”

Meanwhile… try it. It works.

Ann Convery created “Speak Your Business,” a system used by thousands of clients across the globe to increase their business up to 300%. “Speak Your Business” shows anyone how to instantly trigger the “buy” signal in a target market, online or off. Ann has delivered over 150 trainings worldwide. She has been interviewed by The Los Angeles Times, Elle, Cosmopolitan, ABC-TV, and Entrepreneur. Her two books were published by HarperCollins.

Want to learn more strategies that bypass the sleaze and make you feel good about your offer? Join us for the free webinar: 5 Sales Secrets for Success: 24 Carat Proof That You Can Sign More Clients Now. (Even If you're scared of sales).

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