If it was me in the management role, I might have said: “Hey, we’d like you to sell up from the less expensive Hoovers and Bissells, but we don’t really want you selling down from the Dysons. Please use your best judgment based on the customer’s wants and needs.”
I think it’s worth mentioning that I approached the salesperson with a statement and a question. “I think I want one of these Dysons,” I said, “but I’m wondering what I don’t get if I buy a less expensive vacuum.” I gave him the opportunity, I think, to stress the features and benefits of the Dyson, but instead, he went right to a down-selling strategy. So if I’m right about the Dyson generating a higher profit margin, Jim Iverson is right that the salesperson left money on the table.
We Don’t Know
Let’s all keep in mind that we don’t know the whole story here. Keith Kemp raised the critical question, and I only think the Dyson sale would have been more profitable. But I also think Nancy Bleeke hit the nail right on the head. Too many salespeople minimize the second win because they think the first win is just about saving money. And I think some companies minimize the second win—their win!—by miscommunicating with their salespeople.
I love my new vacuum cleaner. I’m happy to have saved $400+. I’ll go back to Bed, Bath and Beyond, but not specifically because of this experience. (The truth of the matter is that I already love Bed, Bath and Beyond. They’re our “go to” source for pretty much anything for the kitchen, and we often find other things we want/need when a kitchen need takes us there.)
All things considered, my final grade for the salesperson is a B-minus. Good selling, but not great selling, because I think he could have done better for his company.
One More Thing…
One more thing for today: according to Facebook, this was my page’s most popular post, but what I found most interesting was that 35 percent of the people who viewed it were organic and the other 65 percent were viral. I think what that means is that I raised an interesting question. And I think what that tells us is that content is the critical factor in making social media work for us.
Dave Fellman is the president of David Fellman & Associates, Cary, NC; a sales and marketing consulting firm serving numerous segments of the graphic arts industry. Contact Dave by phone at 800-325-9634 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit his website at www.MyPRINTResource.com/10004781.