A Salesman’s Promise

Are you guilty of this type of sales behavior?

Sales PromiseIt usually results in a domino effect that can cost a customer lost time and extra money because the sales rep did not really LISTEN when the customer agreed to the purchase. The resulting consequence is lack of trust in both the brand and the sales rep.

The salesman may have scored an immediate sale but it did not stick and a new degree of mistrust is now in the mind of this customer. Why? Simply because he did not LISTEN to the customer.

Here’s my story that prompted this post. Can you relate?

Virus Protection or Virus Infection? Which is worse?

I’ve had McAfee virus protection on my desktop and laptop computer for about 3 years now. I’ve been satisfied that I’ve not been a victim to a computer crash other than hard drive failure, so I assume it has been a good insurance investment. I recently added a netbook to my sales tool-bag to access the internet cloud when I am working in the field.

I am happy with my purchase of a Gateway netbook from my wireless vendor, Verizon. While in the local Verizon store recently, a well-meaning sales rep asked me what virus protection program I used. A very good opening question, by the way. My response was that I used McAfee on my other two computers and would most likely add it to my netbook as soon as the pre-loaded 30 day trial of Norton Anti-Virus had expired. I explained that Norton had totally UN-SOLD me on their product during my un-requested free trial by bothering me with daily pop-ups giving me a countdown and sales pitch without giving me an option to opt-out of their incessant pop-up campaign.

He asked another good question. Do you like the way McAfee works? I then got to share one of my pet-peeves about the McAfee product. Minor detail, that could probably be satisfied with a little user training, but regardless, a daily irritation to me. (Now here is where the sales rep mis-lead me).

He told me that their new Verizon Virus protection works in the background on the server side and would not slow down my computer during random virus scans. If this was the case, he had just provided me with a justifiable reason to switch vendors. The problem is: The salesperson was either mis-informed or lacked experience, because this statement turned out to be false.

Ultimately, I will accept the blame of making a bad decision. But, my decision was based upon a trust level that I had in this vendor that I mistakenly transferred to this sales person. I got “burned” because of this. I just lost two days of work. I had a heavy agenda of office work, and I was ready to accomplish a bunch, but the implementation of this purchase took two days to attempt and correct.

It was a result of subsequent un-installing of my existing McAfee software and then installing Verizon Virus program that ended up being nothing more than a “branded version of McAfee”. The salesperson failed to inform me that he was selling me the exact same thing that I already had, just packaged under a different name and costing a bit more. The process of 3 computer un-installs, installs, un-install again, and re-install of the original and all the associated complications and fixes ended up consuming two work days of my life.

The only silver-lining in the experience came from learning that McAfee had a current promotion where I could protect 3 computers for the price of one where if I had stayed with the Verizon purchase suggested by the sales person it would have cost me 3 times more.

All and all, this sales person has depreciated my brand loyalty to Verizon and will cause me to be far more cautious in trusting the next sales person I encounter that appears to know his stuff.

Is your organization guilty of putting sales reps out there that actually cause you more long-term harm than short-term good? The life-time value of customer experiences such as this may cost your company dearly. Trust is hard to build and easy to loose.

This is my experience, both from a user’s viewpoint and throwing in a little selling advise along the way. 
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By: Howard Howell

 
Howard is an Internet Sales Consultant. He speaks professionally about Web Marketing and Sensible Selling from an experienced entrepreneur’s viewpoint. He also provides individual coaching, group training, and web marketing consulting services. Contact him now.
Published On: February 3, 2010  |   Updated On: April 18, 2010
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