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Thursday, May 1, 2008

How Hard is it to Sell... Really?

I've always maintained with my real estate clients that they should be more interested in buying a property than me in selling it to them. If at any moment I notice that I am doing anything more than facilitating a transaction, I wonder about their motivation, and eventually, their passion for actually getting the home they claim to want.

Why the question? Because I went to get my snow tires replaced with regular summer tires today and I got a lesson in sales.

Amazing the places you learn things!

So here's what happened - I went over to Walmart Tire Service thinking I'd get it done cheaper than Big O. After waiting for about ten minutes while the staff bickered amongst themselves (well, you get what you pay for, so I thought, oh well...) a lady comes out from behind the counter to ask how she can help.

"I'd like to get my snow tires replaced with my summer tires."

After that, she proceeds to take down my phone number and name and then says, "I need to see what tires you have."

When we get to the car, she realizes that I already have tires and after a moment of staring at me blankly, says, "Oh, you want them changed out."

I guess "replaced" has been replaced with "changed out" in WalMart territory.

Anyway, she stares at the tires and says the tread looks bad... "and you're pregnant." As if that needed to be pointed out. So she calls another guy from the staff to look at them. He says they would need to be replaced soon, but they're fine for now. But Miss Sell-Me-Tires is adamant. The tread is bad; if it was up to her she wouldn't do it.

"Why don't you just come back when you want to buy new tires and we'll change them," she says. "Now it will cost you more."

Now, I'm dreading the idea of driving around in my snow tires any longer. And if the law says they're safe for now, they're safe for now! But by this time I'm so tired of the woman's holier-than-thou attitude that I decide to leave and head over to Big O, even at the cost of paying more.

Yes, this story does have a happy ending: Big O replaces my tires, no questions, no comments, no "let me run your life for you" attitude. They also give me a discount because I've been a customer there before - and the whole thing costs less than it would have at WalMart. How's that for wanting to save a few bucks?

The story also has a moral: Within the law, do what the customer asks you - don't badger her with a holier than thou attitude to act like you care. Contrary to popular belief, it's not considered professional behavior. It's annoying and downright interfering.


Anonymous said...

I've been in Wal-Mart only a few times in my life. The last time, as I stood in line waiting for the incompetent service, I freaked. Something is seriously wrong with that place. I laid my things down, left, and vowed to never return. I have kept that vow.

Since that last visit I have learned about the tactics they use to coerce manufacturers to lower supply prices to them. Don't want to bow to their wishes? Ok, they have it made in China, and Americans lose jobs.

What's more American? Low prices, or paying a bit more to keep American manufacturers in business.
I made my choice.

The True Wal-Mart?

Anonymous said...

I've found myself killing a sale trying to save the customer money too. I agree 100 percent. just do what the customer asks and everyone will be happier! Good post