This past Thanksgiving weekend, I visited Carmel, California with my family.
This is the town that Clint Eastwood was mayor of for a couple of years back in the late 80s.
Clint still lives there as do many of California’s "rich and beautiful", both from Hollywierd and Silicon Valley.
Walking around for the afternoon in Carmel was interesting and entertaining.
One minor thrill I had was an excellent sales pitch put on me and my wife.
Normally the sales pitches I get when out shopping in *any* retail store are awful. Even in the high-end stores they are so often just plain crummy.
But on the rare occasion that I do get sold to well, I love it. A good sales pitch is just so much fun to watch and to experience.
My wife and I were in a high-end pen store. This was a place that sold old-fashioned fountain pens and luxury roller-ball pens, many of which were ornately decorated with wood inlays, gold, jewels, etc.
We were just looking. We weren’t there to get anything ourselves. It was my father who I followed in to this store.
While we waited for my father, one of the owners asked if we wanted to try one of the pens. He pulled out a unique retractable fountain pen. Now that’s something I had never seen before (nor did I even know such a thing existed).
Both my wife and I tried writing with it. It was quite nice. And the click and retract feature was pretty neat (again this was a fountain pen, not a ball point pen).
I wasn’t really interested in getting one. But my wife asked how much was it?
And that’s when the owner started selling.
The first thing he did NOT do was answer my wife’s question.
Instead he pointed out how this pen had a gold tip on it. And that gold tip fountain pens are the best writing instruments that you can get. He said that this pen wrote as well as other fine pens that run three hundred bux. And then he said this unique retractable fountain pen was only a hundred and forty bux.
In an instant, he put the pen in perspective and made the deal easier and more attractive. It was pen with top writing capabilities, a cool convenience feature, and a reasonable pr|ce when compared to its capabilities.
I thought this was a great sell, and I really enjoyed it. I didn’t acquire the pen, but I felt that the downsell approach he used was very good. Compared to most sales pitches I get these days that are awful, this was a pleasure.
Why didn’t I acquire the pen? Simple, the salesman didn’t tap into any need, want or desire that I had. He essentially jumped straight into the pitch without seeing if there was anything to shoot at first.
He could have done better though with a few targeted questions. For example he probably knows his customers pretty well, and a large portion of them are probably either businessmen/salesmen/CEOs or writers.
A question or two to determine my profession, and then to tap into my wants and ego could have steered the conversation to a pen I might have liked a lot more. In fact I did see a few I liked and that I wouldn’t mind owning some day.
But he didn’t do that.
Which leaves this as a story of an entertaining sales pitch that missed the mark, because he didn’t take aim before shooting.
Sell with Pride,
Shameless Shamus Brown
P.S. If this guy were using my Persuasive Selling Skills, he could probably triple his sales results. What about you? Discover how to target the right prospects with questions that turn your prospects emotions and feelings into the fuel that lights the sale on fire now.