Today is National Hot dog Day here in Canada. To most of you, this may seem like quite the random statement coming from yours truly but it reminded me of a time when I got “sold” on these giant 2 feet long sausages at a pit-stop while I was en route and it got me thinking, “Am I more easily sold than a non-salesperson?”.
Last year while I was working my way between cities in Western Canada, I stopped at a roadside café/market for a pit-stop. My only intent was to grab a bite to eat and use the facilities. However, somehow I walked out of there with a $36 package of 2 foot long sausages. I had no need for such a thing at all. I couldn’t even cook them because I was away from home and flying back the following day.
So how did a seasoned saleswoman like myself get sold on such a ridiculous purchase?
Well for starters, the guy was really cute which helped get my attention in the first place.
Secondly, he had a great story about how these sausages were prepared and how amazing they are.
Lastly, he was able to overcome all of my objections, including the fact that I couldn’t even prepare them at my hotel and would have to leave them behind. He asked me if I had ice packs in my car (which I did) and if I did, it would be easy for me to freeze them overnight and store them with the sausages in my checked bag and bring them back across the country with me on a 5.5h flight and they would be fine for me to eat once I return home (a whole day’s trip).
As ludicrous as this idea was, I did just that. Then when I returned home, I realized that I didn’t have the slightest clue as to how I was going to prepare them. Unfortunately, they ended up going to waste which was a complete shame given their cross-country adventure.
Why did I make such a ridiculous purchase?
Because I could appreciate this man’s sales pitch. It was bulletproof and I would have felt bad not to give him the sale because he just did such a good job!
This isn’t the first time either. The last time I was at a gas station and got “sold” some sort of special car wax. This was ridiculous because I NEVER wax my car!
In speaking with other sales reps, I have discovered that I am not alone. On average, 9 out of 10 sales reps that I have discussed this with have admitted to making purchases for something that they will never need or use simply because the salesperson pitched the product so well.
Why are salespeople suckers for a good pitch?
1. We know how to recognize a good pitch. After all, this is what we do for a living. Consider it our specialty. Just like if a skilled writer admired another skilled writer, they would buy their books.
2. We can empathize with them. We know if someone is trying really hard to make a sale and experience that on a daily basis. In a perfect world, an A+ for effort would equate to an A+ for achievement but that isn’t always the case. We have been there and know the struggle, so why not be nice and make their day and give them the sale?
3. We enjoy being on the other side of the table for a change. All day we are “selling” others, so it’s refreshing to be on the other side of the table for a change. That can also be good practice for us to remember what the experience is like for the buyer. Heck, we might even learn a new sales tactic!
I must point out that this article is focused on small purchases. When I am making a large purchase (i.e. vehicle), I will be the most difficult client on the planet, pushing the salesperson to their absolute limit and negotiate until I get what I want or I walk. That can be quite fun too!
If you’re in sales, I would love to hear your stories about a time when you got “sold” on some ridiculous purchase.
Until then, happy sales my friends.