Thursday, June 18, 2009

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Gas Station

I'm in sales, live, sleep and breath it. Yesterday I pulled into my favorite Exxon mobile mart in Red Bank, NJ. I needed a pitstop to get some water, hit the head and fill a tire with air.

So, while I was out there filling the tire when I was approached by a young man dressed nicely with a tie. He said excuse me and asked if I ever heard of this product, and promptly showed me a spray can and explained that this is the greatest thing ever for getting rid of minor surface scratches from a car. He sprayed it on a small surface scratch that I had, and then proceeded to swirl the rag and wait a few seconds and then swirled the rag again and presto, chango the surface scratch was gone! I thought, that's pretty neat and asked him what was in the can, I won't get into that and in the next second he walked over the my cars head lights and did the same thing, and then did the rag swirl thing....presto, chango and the haze was gone from the head light. I thought this was cool...I had always been looking for something like that for the lights. He then moved to the rim and did a spot there and walla, he was ready for the close. How many cars do you have? Uh...one, I replied. He then stated that this product was used by Nascar (ok, now I thought that's BS), however he gave me the price for three cans and you what, I bought all three for $35. I handed him forty and he went top get change and on the way back he was waving a yellow cloth and stated that I could have this yellow rag for $5, I stated no thanxs, took my five and was happy I got a product, however I was happier that I had helped a young kid out that was just starting a sales career!

I gotta go, so I'll keep this short, what happened to the days of calling someone for an appointment and bringing a copier out for a demo? You're in the office, showing the new system, you've got mr. or ms. right there and presto chango, you make a sale. No quotes, no proposals, just plain old fashioned salesmanship. The problem with our industry today and most of us sales people on the street are not allowed to ship a unit out for a demo (it is frowned upon). If you're like me you don't even bother asking for one from the customer anymore. Who's to blame, is it the owners, sales managers or just an art that we lost. I will tell you one thing if I still had the chanc to do demo's, I would have at least two units going out every week and ya know what, I'd probably move more boxes at better margins. Too often we had a quote for a box or a box solution and the only thing the customer has is a piece of paper. Paper's paper right?, and that's how they go about buying systems, we've commoditized our own business by worrying about the cost to ship a machine and do a demo on site for the customers.

-=Good Selling=-

1 comment:

Greg Walters said...

Art -

Great Call!

Sometimes we over complicate this whole, crazy thing called Selling.

Throw in some Sham-Wow's and you got a deal!

G