By Tommy Mello, owner of A1 Garage Doors. 

"Show, don't tell." It's a common sales mantra. And it's true, but only around half of the time, based on my experience of selling to over 200,000 customers in the last 10 years.

Showing and telling aren't mutually exclusive. In fact, you can show and tell, using what I call the Five Senses Strategy. Here's how it works: Get your customers to engage their five senses (as much as possible) as you sell to them. This will help them see the difference that your product or service can make in their lives. When they see that, you're a lot closer to closing the deal.

Let's say you're selling sofas. Don't just say: "Our sofa is made using the highest quality material." Show your customer how much thinner the material of the cheaper sofa is and get them to feel how much thicker and sturdier the more expensive model is. I'd even invite them to rip up the material of the cheaper sofa (which they'll be able to do fairly easy), and then do the same to the material of the more expensive sofa (which they'll fail at) just to prove my point.

So, how can you implement the Five Senses Strategy in your own business? Here are two ways I recommend:

Make a Killer First Impression

Make sure your employees are wearing spotless, ironed uniforms and that they're well-groomed (no dirty fingernails!). Teach them to use positive language and frame each situation positively. So instead of saying, "Your garage door is pretty messed up," switch it up with, "There's a lot of work to be done here but we can definitely help you out."

Last but not least, make sure your employees are warm and friendly. It's been shown that waiters and waitresses who touch their customers lightly on the arm receive more tips. This might just help your technician close their sale as well!

Bring the Customers on a Journey of Five Senses

Now that you've made a great first impression, it's time to convince your customer how awesome your product is. Get your customer to touch, hear, see, smell and even taste your product. If your product or service doesn't translate well this way for some reason, simply find ways to describe the value your customers would get by buying what you sell.

Since you're not focused on selling anything, you won't come across as being pushy. Instead, as you familiarize your customer with your product or service, you will get to highlight how it will solve their problems better than anything else.

At A1 Garage, we focus on keeping our explanations simple and visual. For example, if a garage door roller is not rolling, I explain to customers that it's like driving down the freeway with your emergency brakes on. People immediately get that it's probably not the safest thing. (If you can't reach out to your customers in person, you can always do this over the phone or even make an online video. The options are plenty.)

Now, don't ditch your sales pitch completely yet. Just remember, you don't necessarily have to choose between showing and telling. By both showing (the Five Senses Strategy) and telling (simple, relatable words), you'll be able to craft an irresistible sales pitch. 

Tommy Mello is Owner A1 Garage Doors, a $25M+ home service business. 

Published on: Mar 29, 2018
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.