The no-discount discount
The other day, a sales consultant walked into my office, closed the door and said he needed my help to close a sale. I had seen him sitting in one of our meeting spaces, with a homeowner, for quite a while. The help was simple and not unusual. The homeowner was insisting that we had to do something on the price in order to close the sale. The truth was, the price as quoted was fairly tight and it was a small order which left even less room to bend. If this was my customer, I might have looked him in the eye and said that I was comfortable with the price as quoted, because it was a very fair price. Because it was the commission sales consultant’s, I lowered the price by the grand total of $200 and the sale was made. I did go out and introduce myself to the homeowner afterwards, thanking him for his order and the first and only thing he said to me, in a friendly way I should note, was he was disappointed that we couldn’t give him a better price.
This makes me think of another story.I know a business that has nothing to do with windows. It sells antiques, collectables and knickknacks. I see customers bringing objects to the counter and asking for a better price. The seller thinks for a second and obliges with a 20% discount. I see other customers come to the same counter and pull out their wallets and purses, prepared to pay and guess what the man at the counter says? He points to a small sign and says, “This is 20% off today.”
“There are people who simply won’t buy anything unless they think they are getting a better price than anyone else.” He tells me. “Therefore, I raise the prices on everything by 20%, so I have room to make them feel successful. Of course, I have no desire to take advantage of the rest of my customers, so they pay the real price, not the posted price, as well.
Last story for now before I get to the point. A sister-in-law with young children was having a yard sale. A very young daughter was selling some small toys for 25 cents each. A stranger came over to the little girl and tried to wrap her fingers around a dime in payment for a toy. My sister-in-law saw what was happening and gave the individual back the dime, keeping the toy.
So, what do we learn? First, people do not want to overpay. Some people need to feel that they got a better deal than the rest of the world. And last, some people make really bad customers and as a seller, you’re better off if you don’t sell to them!
Do you know the meaning of calling someone a ‘mark’? A mark is a good target for a con man. The individual who has to feel that he or she is getting the better deal can easily be a mark for shady sales tactics.
In the window industry, you’ve probably received flyers or seen advertisements promising 40% or more off!!! Act now!!! 40% off what? Certainly not a price that anyone ever bought from that company. How about, “We pay the tax?” What does that even mean? Is the price really 13% lower or has the tax been built into the product cost? One of my favorites is in the furniture industry for beds. The pitch is you’ll save big money if you get a mattress that doesn’t match the bottom section of the bed. I have a vision of a warehouse where the first bed sold under this sale is a pink mattress on a blue base and the second sold is a blue mattress on a pink base! The truth is, I really don’t know about the blue – pink thing, but I’m pretty sure that the price is not because of the colour matching issue.
Bait and switch is a term used to get someone in a store, but then sell them a more expensive product. Many years ago (and the price will tell you how many years) I went to a store for a used $50 colour TV. They had it, but the blue and red guns in the cathode ray tube were dead. The picture was green! Of course, it was at the back of the store and I had to walk by a selection of beautiful, more expensive TVs to see it and then walk out buy the same beautiful selection!
Are there real deals in the world? Yes, but one has to be extremely careful not to allow one’s personal greed to believe one is getting that special deal that no one else is going to get. In the window industry, time of year can be a real reason for getting a deal. Most manufacturers traditionally offer winter specials that are actual discounts and can be passed on to you. Like in any industry, information is your ally.
At GEM, we have a ‘price match guarantee’. With this guarantee, GEM is not only prepared to match a written price on equivalent goods but beat it by an additional 10% of the difference. A few things. We say ‘equivalent’. It does not have to be the same brand and model. A trick used by some box stores is to have their own exclusive model numbers, so they can always say that their price match, which is based on the same model, doesn’t apply. At GEM we’re prepared to explain why a lower priced product is not equivalent in value, but we are also prepared to accept equivalents of any brand and apply our guarantee!