Sunday, December 9, 2012

Alex Scoble - "She never asked us"

Last Tuesday, I posted an item based upon a piece by Gavin Ingham. The original piece was entitled "He never asked me," and told the tale of a salesman who pursued his own agenda and didn't bother to ask what Ingham actually needed.

This evening, I ran across a second example - this one from Alex Scoble.

Scoble encountered multiple problems when he and his wife visited Aloha Sew and Vac in Beaverton, Oregon. Read his post for all of the gory details. But here's a prime example of a salesperson not listening to a customer. A little background - don't tell Cassie, but she's getting a sewing machine as a Christmas present. The sewing machine was purchased at Costco; while it's a good sewing machine, it's not a Porsche of sewing machines. The Scobles were looking for some stuff to complement the sewing machine - some lessons, and perhaps a table for the machine they already had.


If [the salesperson] had been listening, she would know that we are in the market for an entry level machine that can do interesting things. We aren't yet ready to spend $1000+ for something. Yet that's exactly what she started pushing us towards. I kid you not, at one point she points to a machine and tells us that the unit is normally $2800 but is on sale for $1400 and it's a fantastic machine at that price. Great, so we come in looking for a Honda Fit and this person starts selling us a Porsche 911.

Ignore for the moment the insulting manner in which the salesperson treats her customers (more detail is provided in Scoble's post). When two people are looking for item A, why sell them item B?

And yes, I am familiar with the whole concept of upselling. However, in this case the Scobles were not looking to buy a sewing machine. They went into the store looking for sewing machine LESSONS AND A TABLE - not a sewing machine itself. But that didn't make a difference to the salesperson.

Scoble's summation:

Try listening to your customers and if you don't have anything to offer to them, give them a reason to come back when they are ready for what you do have to offer.
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