One of those hip and happening farmers markets. Expanded over the past decade, now even an adjacent bottle store has a pop-up bar outside.
Inside the shop, I was asked by one of the staff if I needed any help.
Being English, I naturally averted my eyes, saying something akin to the standard, ‘I’m fine, thanks, just looking’.
After a moment, I realised I could test the server’s mettle.
In the country I was in, there’s a construct familiar to many around the world. You go to a gathering at someone’s house and take a nice bottle of wine. Yet no-one else seems to share in your standard of generosity. You put your wine on the communal table. But when you go back to pour a glass for yourself, your bottle is already empty. The choice you’re left with seems only marginally better than vinegar.
I exaggerate, but only a touch.
The concept of braai wine means one you can happily quaff at such shindig. That isn’t showy, doesn’t break the bank, yet can be enjoyed.
So I asked if there was a winning red braai wine on offer.
Straight away, the response was a beaming, positive ‘yes!’.
I was filled with hope.
Then, something strange.
The person walked straight over to a particular shelf, picked up a bottle and pronounced, ‘this is the one’.
Though not quite worldclass.
They already knew I was after red above white. Yet I couldn’t help thinking how much more satisfying the transaction could be with even just one qualifying question.
‘You prefer bolder or more delicate?’, ‘blend or single cultivar?’, or even a direct ‘any upper price band in mind?’
Not every question deserves an instant response.
And this situation is one typical from inside a solution sale conversation.
Are you rushing to answer them when a pause for at least one extra query back would give you more?