There seems to be a fallacy afoot that there is a group of people who are not concerned about price. Rubbish I say. Anyone with a lot of money didn’t get wealthy by making foolish choices. You only keep money by not making bad deals.
This doesn’t mean that every customer should be shown the cheapest goods you have. The other day I was in a flooring store, and the salesperson was waiting on one of her “special customers. The customer apparently has money and spends it. The owner called the salesperson aside and suggested she be careful with her pricing. He was afraid she would turn him off my showing him the more expensive goods. I heard her say, “His wife likes nice things, and he doesn’t deny her anything. Besides, who wants to look at the junk?” As far as I’m concerned, case closed. I asked the owner about it afterward, and he had a completely different take on it.
“I’m afraid if we show them expensive merchandise they will think we’re after all their money!” It’s amazing what people think.
In my opinion, the problem is that salespeople are not sure how to handle customer reactions. Everyone has their own ideas about what turns someone off. It can be a look, a hesitation or just not responding to a question. At this stage in our lives, we should know that it’s pretty impossible to tell what anyone is thinking unless you know them very well. And if you watch any of the crime shows, you know that’s not that accurate.
Why wouldn’t you want to show your best products, the ones you are most proud of? You know, the products that are unique and worth every penny of their price.
I was at the Lexus dealer having an antenna installed. I wandered to the sales showroom and told the salesperson I was looking for a preowned, older Lexus convertible. It didn’t take him more than a minute to show me a new one. I repeated I wanted a used one but that didn’t stop him. He said I might want to look at the features of a new one, so I would have something to compare. He was right, it made me stop in think; do I want to do without the heated seats. I pretended like I didn’t care but he obviously had some good training.
Like the produce in Walmart, if I hadn’t been somewhere else, I wouldn’t have a basis of comparison.
My suggestion is to have products in every price point that are really valuable for the money. Ultimately the customer will be in charge of the final decision.
Lisbeth Calandrino has been doing coaching and sales training for over 20 years. Like her dad, she went to the retail school of “hard knocks,” learning by doing. She retired after 14 years of being part of a retail chain of flooring and furniture stores in the Northeast. She is convinced the best salespeople have very little to say; instead they know the right questions to get the customer to think. To schedule a consultation or have her speak at your business, reach her at Lcalandrino@nycap.rr.com. She lives in Historic Hudson Park, Albany, New York with her cat Rainyday.