I was recently a customer of two salesmen. I was so amazed by the differences that I thought the experience would be worth sharing, as there is a lesson here for those in retail businesses.
I entered the shop with the intention to buy. I had already shopped around and had been there before. After a few questions and some discussion about pricing, I agreed to go ahead with the purchase. The time was 4.35pm. The salesman said to me:
“Oh, I’m sorry. We’re closed now. We close at 4.30pm so I can’t help you. Everything’s been turned off. Come back tomorrow and I’ll put the order through then.”
I’m not sure if my disbelief showed on my face. As a business coach, I just couldn’t believe my ears. It seemed like such irrational behaviour. After all, this was not a $5 purchase. It was in excess of $1,000. Everything was turned off – really? Did he really not want my business?
I rang to enquire about a deal that I had seen online which turned out to have such restrictive conditions that it really wasn’t available to me. That call could have ended there but it went on for over an hour as the salesman used every possible lure to entice me to purchase. I consider myself a fairly shrewd buyer and he had to work very hard for the deal but I did, after an hour and a half on the phone with him, BUY.
As it turns out, I did still buy from Salesman #1 but only because the price I was getting was worth the inconvenience of another trip to the store plus, he hadn’t been rude or particularly unhelpful in any other way. It seemed to me that this person had to be an employee and not the owner as it was the only logical explanation for his lack of motivation to “close the sale”. In fact on both occasions that I had attended the store, there was no one in the showroom and either my husband or I had to go out of our way to seek someone out for assistance.
Salesman #2 was a call centre operator, one who found out exactly what I had, what I paid and what I needed. He persisted. If I had left that phone call without buying, it was extremely unlikely that I would return. He knew that so he persisted. He eventually discovered my real objection which was the 24-month contract, so he got approval from his supervisor to offer a compromise – a small upfront payment, $3 more per month with no contract. I was happy with that.
Which salesman would you want working for you?
I should state that I abhor “hard sells” and would never advocate overbearing sales tactics. However, there is a fine between “too much” selling and “not enough”.
What do you think the moral of this story is?