Anatomy of a failed sales pitch.

I walked into a retail store last week, the salesperson wandered up, big smile,  “How can I help you” he said. Good start, better than the usual “Can I help?” which has as a possible answer, “No thanks, just looking”.

I told him the product category I was looking for, and he then asked “how much do you want to spend?”

Perhaps a logical next question, but the wrong one.

Why should  I trust someone I do not know, whose job it is to sell me as much as possible for as much as possible, with the  boundaries of my budget?

Obviously, had I said $2000, he would have shown me items at $2100, just a touch over my budget, an easy step up of just 5%, and think of all that added functionality, instead of items at $1000 that may have suited my needs just as well.

What he should have done is ask questions about what job I needed done, which features I  needed, and which ones would be just nice to have, did I have brand preferences, and what about the aesthetics?

Had he done all that, he may very well have sold me the $2100 unit, and would almost certainly sold me something, and I have been pleased with the result, but as it was, I thanked him and went down the road.

And we wonder why retail sales are so flat!


About strategyaudit

StrategyAudit is a boutique strategy and marketing consultancy concentrating on the challenges of the medium sized manufacturing businesses that make up the backbone of our economy. The particular focus is on their strategic and marketing development. as well as the business and operational efficiency improvements necessary for day to day commercial survival. We not only give advice, we go down "into the weeds" to ensure and enable implementation.
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2 Responses to Anatomy of a failed sales pitch.

  1. colinsander says:

    Oh it gets better – I gave it my best shot to purchase a polarising filter from a photographic store, and they would not accept the only credit card I had with me at the time, even though that card’s symbol is on their window. Their solution was to put it aside so I could come back later with a different card …

    Yeah, right!!!

    And to top it all off, the manager stated that the rate charged by the credit card company was too high, and the margins on filters are so low.

    Again – yeah, right!!!

    • strategyaudit says:

      Hi Col,
      Sometimes I think every retail “sales assistant” should spend 2 weeks in a bazaar in Istanbul, Marrakech, or somewhere, where it is a personal affront to the “sales assistant” if a potential customer walks away.
      They would take the shirt off you back in payment, not send you away for an alternative card.

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