The new business of trying to trick your client into buying

Have you ever been called by a telemarketer who offers you the world, only to find out that its another world. When I was in retail sales many years ago we were sent to many training sessions that drove home the concept of “trading up by trading down”. This is the practice of offering the best product or service first and hoping that the customer will buy it as the profit is greatest on the highest priced items. In my case I sold appliances. I was taught to listen to the customer only long enough to hear what they didn’t think they needed. So lets say you came into my store and wanted a dishwasher. It was my job to try to show you the top of the line DW with all the bells and whistles first. In this way you would be thinking about the cool features like self loading robotic arms, OK not that cool but you know what I mean. Then when you got to the basic no frills DW you really needed, you would feel like you were getting a lemon and would buy a middle of the road unit for $150.00 more. This type of sale would net the company about $120.00 profit over the cheapest model DW that would have suited your needs just fine.

My beef with this approach now is that it has so many twists in it that you can’t see it coming. I get calls weekly for products and services that are totally free that will help grow my business immensely like nothing I have ever seen before. These sales people will spend ten minutes taking down all your information to include in your free service only to finish the spiel with “the clincher”. It goes something like this and it is always read from a prepared script, ” We offer two services platinum or gold, or my manager came on the floor this morning and told me to blow out the last 20 boxes at cost” . At this point I get frustrated because I realize that I have been fooled and I decide to politely decline the offers. Here is where it gets interesting. The gold and platinum service drops to a basic service and the full box at cost soon drops to a partial box well below cost. Now either these people are dumb or liars or both. Time to hang up but NOOOO not me, I’m too polite to just hang up, instead I repeatedly decline their lower offerings and extended credit deals and then hang up.

What ever happened to good old fashioned honest marketing, I guess it doesn’t work anymore in our fast paced Internet world. Perhaps I should feel sorry for the poor saps that have to make a living this way every day.  I can’t imagine how much wasted time they spend on the phone just to face rejection. In my business I try to add ancillary services but more often then not I tell customers they don’t need to waste their money if I can see it would not help them have a healthier and  safer home environment.

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