Sunday, May 28, 2006

Retail Sales Training - Never Do This!

I came across this tip in another newsletter ( and thought it delivered a great message.

“My wife and I were out shopping for a graduation gift for our niece. We found an attractive ladies sport watch and decided to buy it. After I told the clerk that we wanted to take the watch, the clerk violated one of the never-do principles of selling... he volunteered a discount! Please note: I did not ask for a discount. But, without blinking, he gave us 30% off of the retail price. This prompted my curiosity. I wanted to see how much more I could get if I did a little bit of work. So, I went into the role of the recalcitrant customer who is having second thoughts.

“I told the salesman that we wanted to look at some other stores in the mall before we made our final decision. He responded by taking another 20% off. That's a 50% discount in less than 30 seconds! Now, I was really curious to see how far I could get him to go before he threw up his hands and asked us to leave the store.

“I continued to press the sales rep and, every time I stalled, offered an objection or gave him some indication that I may not be ready to make the decision, he responded with a discount. I finally walked out of the store with the watch in my hand, having paid only 35% of the listed price!”

What is the lesson for business-to-business salespeople? Never, ever, under any circumstances, volunteer a discount before a prospect has indicated a real hardship associated with paying the price that you are asking. Written by Gil Cargill –

My comments: This reinforces the issue that sales people are often guilty of bringing up price objections. I remember talking to a sales person years ago after he had presented an idea to me. When I told him I planned to use another vendor he asked, "Was it my price?" I found this particularly interesting because we had NEVER discussed the price of his product!

Avoid this mistake and don't assume that price is the only reason make a buying decision.


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