What does it take to make the sale? I’ve always believed that if you want people to buy — buy your product, or your service, or even you — then you need to show them, clearly, in brilliant technicolour, the compelling value that you have to offer. Which means that you do whatever it takes to help them see, first-hand, what it is that you or your product or your service does to meet their needs or make their lives easier. If you want to make the sale to me, then you need to show me what value I receive. Yet I come across so many people who don’t get this! A few years ago, I blogged about the leasing agent to tried (unsuccessfully) to get me to rent an apartment without letting me see it. She was too lazy to even let me see the inside of an apartment that she wanted me to lease; apparently the photos she posted on the Internet should have been sufficient.
She wanted me to buy without telling me what I was going to receive!
Well a few weeks ago, I came across a similar situation, this time with Dell, the computer folks. My hard drive failed (a story in itself) and in order to restore my system we had to contact Dell to get them to send the USB recovery key.
“It will cost $27” said the unhelpful lady on the phone.
“Okay, when can I expect to receive it?” I asked.
“I can’t tell you until you pay for it.”
“If I can’t get it in a couple of day, tops, then I’ll go in another direction. So I need to know the expected delivery date in order to make my decision as to whether to get it or not”
“Sorry I can’t tell you till you pay for it”, she repeated.
So I paid for it. After which she told me that delivery would be in five business days. Not ideal, but I’d already given her my credit card number, so I guess I would have to live with it. Until I received the confirmation email that afternoon showing an expected delivery date of eight days!
Which takes me back to “be prepared to show what you sell!” The Dell representative wanted me to pay for something that was time-sensitive, but she couldn’t tell me when I could expect to receive it. She wanted me to buy from her, but she wasn’t able to express the value she had to offer. And quite frankly, she wasn’t interested in showing me what her product or service did to meet my needs, or make my life easier.
Now I bought anyway because I was desperate. Only to discover a few hours later that she had under-delivered anyway. This is not how you build goodwill with a customer or client!
Well, what do you think? Am I being unreasonable in my expectation that I should know what value I am receiving before I hand over my credit card? Or is this just an example of the new way to “make the sale”? Am I on the mark, or am I way off base?