November 3, 2011

Death of a salesman – certainly not the discussion about it! Part 1

Filed under: Customer Service — by xrematon @ 12:53 pm

I recently experienced some fancy salesmanship. I was rather impressed, except it all fell apart in the final stages. I am not sure whether the following was all part of an elaborately planned sales process or not, but let me tell you the story….

About a month ago a postcard came through the door, inviting me to sign up for a visit to see if my house would be suitable for an extra special kind of waterproof, weather-resistant covering – zillions of times better than paint. As I am obsessed with making my house less cold and damp, I was tempted and filled in the card.

A couple of days later, I got a call to fix up a time and was told more about the product. Then I got my visit from the jovial salesperson, Simon, who wore the regulation shirt, tie and blazer (the company had clearly decided to do an ‘Eddie Stobart’ with the uniform; as my husband observed, the effect was also Alan-Partridge-esque). Simon looked carefully around my house, answered all my questions, even those I sneaked in about general house maintenance not relevant to selling his product. He took me through the brochure and then came up with a sum so huge it was an easy decision to make (£15-£17K!).

But then, he told me about how we could agree to become a marketing home for his company and, by agreeing to small things such as giving permission for photos of our house to be taken and putting up their board outside for a couple of months, the price could drop very significantly (to £10-12k). This was still far too much.

A couple of days later, I had a call from Phil, their commercial sales manager. He had had a job in the local area fall through and so was looking to see how he could use his team out here. He felt he could offer me an even better deal as corporate rates are lower than those for private individuals (not sure what I think about that). So we had a visit from Phil, who carefully measured everything up.

So what happened? Well, it turns about that Phil couldn’t even match the offer made by Simon. Phil was very perplexed (and irritated) that Simon had clearly measured the house incorrectly to suggest his figure.  Needless to say, the conversation ended there!

I’ll put some thoughts on sales in another post.


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