Friday, April 24, 2009

You Lost Me At Hello

I was looking for a headphone/microphone for my laptop. I didn't know if I wanted the plug in one or the USB version.

My first stop is to the computer store that spends considerable advertising dollars and they were advertising both versions. I brought my laptop in and headed over to a salesperson and asked if I could test a unit before I bought it.

The sales person sent me over to service where I explained what I was looking for.

Here is how you lose a sale.

Service Guy-"We don't have any that you can try. You will have to buy it. If you have to return it, its an in store credit not refund."

So in a nano second all these things went through my mind:

Why wouldn't you have a display unit to test drive. I have my laptop with me. Is that not signal that I want to buy?

I am going to pay for it at that end of the counter and if it doesn't work I am going to walk 5 feet down that sales counter to return it but not for cash but an instore credit.

What makes you think I would want to shop here in the future.

I came in here to buy and you blew it.

Out the door and down the street to the competitor. Not only did they let me test drive it, the owner took personal care of me hooking it up to my computer, let me tap into his WIFI and I made calls using my SKYPE. Worked beautifully and I was a happy camper. Even better when I went to pay for it, it was on sale saving me another $10.

Here is the thing. All things being equal in price it all boils down to service and the first store failed because that employee was likely following store policy.

Like one of my first sales managers taught me, "Don't negotiate with me to make the deal. Save that for the customer." And, "its always easier to ask for forgiveness than permission."

You can't use the excuse that the advertising didn't work. Your company policy did that.

Tony Mariani

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