One of the old masters of selling who was willing to school me with his lessons was Pete Scatton, one of the original “Tin Men”.

“People buy with their eyes,” Pete would say. “You’ve got to be able to play ‘Show and Tell.’”

Remember, most potential clients need to see what they are getting because they “buy with their eyes” and need to visualize their purchase. Part of good salesmanship “Rule #1 – Being Prepared” is being able to help your potential client visualize the project you are proposing.

In the old days that was simple. All we needed was a sample case for a storm window, literature for storm doors and awnings and paint color chips. Today, there are so many products, options and colors for clients to select from, should we still try to play show and tell?

People still buy with there eyes. If good salesmanship Rule #1 is “Be Prepared” and people still buy with their eyes, then being prepared to play show and tell with your clients is still a good idea.

We can still prepare for a sales appointment by bringing along samples, literature and color chips. Your sales samples should be neat and clean and you should be thoroughly familiar with the samples and literature for your products, but there are more ways to help a consumer buy with their eyes today than ever before.

We should use every tool we have available to play show and tell – nearby references, photos, videos, sketches, manufacturers’ websites and of course, samples, literature and color chips.

If you are artistic, you can sketch your ideas on a pad, but there are computer design programs, like RENO Software, that allow you to take a digital photo of your client’s property and add your improvements to the photo on your laptop. Although an old fashioned photo album of past projects will still do the trick, showing clients’ photo slide shows and videos of past projects from your iPad. If you store video and photo galleries on the cloud or YouTube, they can even be accessed from your client’s home computer. Keep up with the pace of technology to help your clients visualize their project so they can buy with their eyes.

It is a very good sales practice to be well prepared… The better prepared you are the more likely you are to close more sales. So, next sales call, be prepared to “Show and Tell” – bring along your artistic talent and today’s technology to help clients visualize their project so they can go ahead and order. Look for my next blog “Hands On Education,” next week.


  1. Can you point to a link for RENO Software?

  2. Stephen – check out I’ve seen this app before, maybe 5-6 years ago. They were still in the mode of gathering data on most all of the suppliers, but even back then it was well populated. Very slick; definitely worth investigating.

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