Bob Negen’s 6 Steps to the Perfect Purchase

Free Poster For Your Store

The Sale That Got Away

by Bob Negen

I travel a lot speaking at conferences and while I’m on the road I like to visit local stores to see what’s happening on the street. Well, a couple of weeks ago I was browsing at a beautiful upscale gift shop in a trendy city neighborhood when it happened once again…

Another guy walked through the front door, stopped and blinked to adjust his eyes from the sunny street. He wandered around the front of the store for a few minutes slightly bewildered.

Eventually the nicely put together woman perched on a stool behind the counter looked up from her cell phone and smiled.

“Can I help you?”

I cringed.

She had already blown the first step in the selling process and you know as well as I did what was coming next.

“No thanks, just looking.”

Yeah, no kidding. Of course he was looking, and probably looking for something specific. Most likely a gift for his wife, or his mother, or his daughter. But because she blew the greeting, she didn’t get the chance to ask him about that and she missed the second step in the selling process entirely.

“Well, if you need any help just let me know.”

And her head went back down to check that cell phone.

I kept my eye on him as he roamed around the store picking up and putting down random pieces of merchandise until he finally settled on a pale yellow bottle of hand lotion and took it to the counter.

She looked up again.

“All set?”

And with those two simple words she skipped the third and fifth steps in the selling process. I’ll be generous and give her the fourth step because “All set?” is sort of like asking a closing question. Sort of.


Credit card handed over, swiped, and $23.47 charged. Lotion plopped in a bag. She smiled and I just knew it was coming…

“Have a nice day!”

Sixth and final step in the selling process also messed up.  

He walked out the door and I was BUMMED.

I was bummed for his wife (or mother or daughter) who was going to get a bottle of hand lotion (as nice as it was) instead of the gorgeous cashmere throw and matching puff pillow, or the full-sized sterling silver picture frame, or the modern turquoise leather tote that I saw in the store.

I was bummed for the guy because he was going to miss seeing the real joy in the eyes of his gift recipient.

And, of course, I was bummed for the store owner. I know that sale could easily have been 5 times, even 10 times bigger and the customer would have been 5 times or 10 times happier.

In other words, this was NOT a Perfect Purchase.

It’s a super common experience, isn’t it? How many times have you, yourself had this same interaction in a store? I’ve had it and seen it more times than I can count. This was just the latest in a long line of the same story.


I believe that smiling woman behind the counter thought she was doing a good job. To her way of thinking, she wasn’t being pushy, she wasn’t being rude, she wasn’t being “salesy.” She was friendly and she rang the customer up. She thought she was giving good service.

But in reality she was doing her customer a major disservice.

If she had just known and used the process for ethical, customer-focused selling, everyone would have been happier.

I don’t want this to happen in your store. I really don’t.

So, here’s what I came up with to help you…

We created a FREE POSTER for you showing all 6 Steps to the Perfect Purchase. You can post in the stock room, your employee break room, or the door out to the sales floor where it will be constant reminder to your staff that great selling is great customer service!

You can get the poster TWO ways…

1. Download the 8.5”x11” printable .pdf of the poster or…

2. Order the larger 24”x18” poster-sized version. You just need to pay for shipping.

Get Your FREE Poster

Retail store owners around the world are using the 6 Steps to the Perfect Purchase to increase their sales and make their customers happy.

Get your free copy of the 18″ x 24″ 6 Steps to the Perfect Purchase poster today (you just pay $4.99 shipping and handling). Put it up in your store to remind your staff how to provide customers with the BEST service possible!

You can also download and print a 8.5″ x 11″ size poster right now by clicking the graphic below.

Do you need a refresher on the 6 Steps to the Perfect Purchase? Watch the video below from the Retail Sales Academy.