Tonight we had a saleswoman come to our house to make a pitch for a company called Town and Country Foods. Basically they deliver organic food to your house every six months. The quality of the food seems to be extremely good. The price is reasonable (if not great) for the quality of food they are selling. So why am I probably not going to sign up? It comes down to money. It would cost about $100 more per month to purchase this food. Our food budget is very tight, and we just don’t have any extra money for this premium product. Although she hit all her talking points very well, I think there are a few things she could have done differently to increase her chances of landing the sale. Here is some advice to any other salesmen that decide to hit up the Hanft family:
1. If you aren’t willing to convince the skeptic, you are wasting your time.
In our family, that means if you want to sell us anything, you have to convince me. When I know I am hearing a sales pitch, I automatically go on the defensive. I don’t hide this fact. I sit with my arms crossed, and maintain a serious look on my face. My wife is the opposite. She is much more polite and open to the idea of spending money. The woman from Town and Country Foods made the mistake of directing her pitch to my wife. She really needed to convince me.
2. Don’t tell me what I need.
The sales woman thought she knew what we needed, and put all her effort into selling us that. Unfortunately, she was pushing a square peg in a round hole, rather than trying to find something that we might actually buy. She came to sell us food, and never stopped pushing a freezer for storing the food even after we showed her our spare freezer!
3. Make sure the numbers add up before you start writing them down.
The weakest parts of her presentation were when she got specific with numbers. I have seen this problem before. The sales person starts writing numbers down thinking that these scribbles will help make your point. Unless you have great math skills, clean handwriting, and the ability to explain your words visually, this can only hurt your presentation. The scribbles just make me think that you think I am too stupid to realize that your doodles don’t make any sense.
4. Don’t overstay your welcome.
I was expecting a 20 minute presentation. She stayed for well over an hour. If you can’t make the sale in a half hour, you are wasting your breath. When you sense that I need time to think things over, back off. When we told this woman that we needed more time, she asked us why, and then proceeded to tell us why other people usually need more time. Shortly after this, I excused myself to go for my run before it got dark.
5. Don’t insult me.
I asked if we needed to sign up for anything tonight. Her response was, “No, but 85% of people do sign up after the presentation because it is really a no-brainer.” In other words, I am an idiot if I have to think about it. Bad move, lady.
We have a “No Soliciting” sign on our door for a reason. If you are fortunate enough to be invited into my house to tell me about your product, consider it an honor. Hopefully these five suggestions will get you to the next step: making a sale.