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  • Writer's pictureLacy Starling

#214: What if We Make it Half-Off?

There are few things as satisfying to me, as an amateur anthropologist and professional salesperson, as watching a sales presentation. (Especially if the person selling to me doesn't know I'm a sales educator and consultant.) I love to watch salespeople at work, whether they are good or bad at it. And I love to see how others react to sales tactics. It's all great fodder for my work, and sometimes, it's downright hilarious.

When I was in Arizona recently, I had the opportunity to participate in a timeshare presentation. (Normally, I blow that stuff off, but they had tickets to a helicopter tour that was otherwise sold out, and I REALLY wanted to go on that tour.) Brian went with me, and it was almost as much fun watching him shut these guys down as it was to watch their sales tactics.

They did it all—made us clap along to loud music, required audience participation, played heart-rending videos of families talking about how they'd wished they'd spent more time with their kids instead of working so much, etc.—and it all felt terribly manipulative and gross, as bad sales presentations always do.

The best part, though, came at the end. After saying no several times, no matter how many Hawaiian vacations and/or discounts they threw at us, they made one final push. They offered us a price on the package that was less than one-third the initial price they'd quoted. And they were still throwing in a Hawaiian vacation and bonus points and everything else. (The answer was still no, of course.)

As we were leaving, Brian turned to me and said, "Can you imagine being the sucker who agreed to buy at the first price, that was so much more than what we were just offered?" And isn't that the truth? When someone quotes you a price, and then keeps cutting that price every time you say no, instead of feeling like you got a great deal, you end up feeling like they were just trying to get away with ripping you off. You feel like they had you pegged for a sucker, and were going to try to squeeze as much money from you as they could.

It's not a good feeling, and it's not a good sales tactic. Instead, set a fair price for the value you are giving, and charge it.


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