A big sales gaffe

I have to share a big sales no-no.  For 28 years my job in marketing has been to get the qualified leads.  Then it is the sales staff's job to convert them into customers.  So, today I want to share some sales gaffes or no-no's.  Too much money is spent on marketing to have the sale lost because of poor customer service or sales skills.

Today I was shopping around for a pet sitter.  I called one I had heard of through a referral.  The salesperson who is also the owner, did not ask me any questions about what I needed.  Rather she started to sell me things I did not need.  She did no rapport building to earn my trust and confidence.  It seems this company tries to sell these pet sitting packages that don't take into consideration every customer's needs are different.  One also has to pay a premium price for this pet sitter's service because she is a certified pet trainer.  I am not looking for a pet trainer.  It is nice she has that credential and that would definitely be part of her different/better story, but not when it was used to explain her higher rates.  I felt bad that the call did not go well and because someone who I know and respect referred them to me, I followed up with an email stating that if I said anything that offended her, I apologize.  The response back was still somewhat defensive and she was trying to price justify by explaining her credentials. 

Sales gaffe #1 - Don't try to tell people what they need when you have done no discovery.  Don't box people into packages that don't meet their needs.  Package pricing is a great marketing tactic when done right. 

Sales gaffe #2 - Don't use your unique value proposition to justify charging more money when the value is not a necessity/requirement of good service.  In marketing we work with clients to help them identify their different/better story, or their unique value proposition.  Sometimes this warrants a premium price and sometimes it should simply be a value-added benefit.  In this case, I did not see enough value in paying $9 more per day for pet sitting just because she had special credentials for dog training.  I was not calling for dog training - just a pet sitter.  If I was calling around for dog training and one trainer had these special credentials and one did not, then I would expect to pay a little more for the dog trainer with the special credentials.  We've used neighbors as pet and house sitters and they did great not being a certified pet trainer.  If you are going to charge a premium price because of something you do different/better than the competition, do so because there is a value that directly relates to the service being provided.  A pet sitter need not be a certified pet trainer to do the job well.

If your company needs assistance with pricing packages, defining your business unique value proposition, sales or customer service training, please contact us.

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