To sell something, you need to say the right things

21
My (male) friend wanted to buy a bikini for his female friend. He was browsing through the designs in a shop. The sales assistant walked over to him and said, "That's too small for you."

My friend's (unmarried) aunt brought her young niece to a flea market. Her niece was looking at some toys at one shop. The shop attendant suggested, "Ask mummy to buy it for you!"

I accompanied a friend to buy a pair of running shoes. After he had selected and paid for his shoes, the salesman turned to me and said, "Shoes for you? Or you don't run?"

In the past, I recall frequently being approached by salesgirls from beauty salons who would criticise my complexion and then ask me to purchase some facial package. The old sales tactic was be to criticise/insult people to make them feel lousy and then insist that they must buy their products or carry on feeling lousy.

Nowadays, the sales tactic is to say something nice. A insurance agent outside an MRT station approached me and said that I look very young. He then asked whether I could spare a few minutes. I was tempted to but I was "rushing" off to have a seat and drink some coffee because I had walked alot that day and my legs were killing me. The thought crossed my mind to invite him for coffee but I decided against being too nice.

A good salesman might uses both of the above sales tactics in a sales pitch. A year ago, I saw Steven Lim at Orchard Road. Since we had spoken before, I walked up to him to say "hi" and asked what he was doing. (I had no idea he's a "talent scout" then.) He told me that he was talent-scouting. He asked me whether I wanted to sign up to be a talent with his talent agency. He showed me a thank-you letter from a client. He said that I have star quality, and with his help I can get famous. He said other agencies charge talents thousands of dollars to sign up but he charges only $x. He quickly continued by asking whether I have $x with me. I said No. He then asked whether I have $x in my bank account that I can withdraw from the ATM machine. I replied No. He looked shocked and said, "You don't even have $x in your bank account?" I continued to say No and left politely. Although I did not part with my money, I still think he's a good salesman. He switched instantly from giving compliments to giving insults about my not having $x.

21 comments:

David said...

Yu-Kym,

The old vs contemporary attitude for sales people has changed with time. Although the criticise/insult approach I have not encountered in the States. While there are rude clerks and some shop owners, the current business climate has seen a surge in better customer service.

Steven Lim appears to show why he works for a lower price agency. If he insults a potential client that is a sure way to drive a client to another agency.

Did he ever elaborate on what talent he, or was that the client, thought worth you developing?

Few sales people would dare ask how if one even has money to withdraw. Mr. Lim is daring and rude.

I trust that you have more personable and trustworthy professional representation.

David


Experience makes us see an enormous difference between piety and
goodness.


-- Blaise Pascal

Anonymous said...

Gosh! And the discussion topic on Strait Times last few days was "Will Singapore's economy survive in the next decade?"

Anonymous said...

Next time, tell Steve his dick is too small and you are the exclusive dealer for the magical potion to fix that problem. He must give you $X to enjoy the benefit. That will do him a lot of good!

Anonymous said...

Yu-Kym,

Another interesting tactic:

Salesman: We have ABC investment which will earn you more than 10 to 15% returns.

Me: Thank you. I'm not keen.

Salesman: Is it because you are now getting more than 10 to 15% returns on your investment?

If I reply yes, or if my answer's no, do you see where he is cleverly leading me towards?

To all sales people out there, if you dont know the above salespitch, try it.. it will get u somewhere for many! But not with me. keke

curious cat

Anonymous said...

Another example:

I was in a 3rd world country...I think it was Cambodia or Myanmar...me and my companion were visiting an ancient attraction. The ubiquitous child "salesbeggars" with their arms full of souvenir items were chasing our tails. One of them caught up, said to my partner in surprisingly good English:

child: Hello Madam, you are very beautiful!

She: hahaha You said that to every girl dont you?

child: (laughs) You are very beautiful madam! Only $US1!

And very shortly a greenback promptly landed onto the child's hands in exchange for an item that costs just 10cts perhaps.

I've known my companion for years and she is quite a careful person with money, etc and does not succumb easily to any kind of sales tactics whatsoever. But that time she was happy. I looked on in amazement at the both of them. lol

curious cat

Anonymous said...

Yu-Kym,

What constitutes libellous in blogs? In such a forum, I really dont know if one steps over the line or not?

curious cat

The Bimbo said...

Damn. I'm mostly just mean. I tell people I'm bankrupt and don't have a single cent. Politely of course.

Yu-Kym said...

David, the talent agency is owned by Steven Lim. Indeed, I do not want to be represented by his agency.

Anon, great way to divert his attention - try to sell HIM something!

curious cat, right, either way the salesman will have something else to say. I think it's still not very clear as to what's considered as libel in blogs.

The Bimbo, sometimes I ignore the person totally...

Anonymous said...

Yu-Kym,

If it's not very clear, then it's wise to be careful what we post when we name real persons dont u think?

curious cat

Yu-Kym said...

Yes, of course. I thought about possible consequences before posting.

David said...

CC, Mr. Lim's reputation most likely precedes him.

Think about his approach to Yu-Kym. It was very unprofessional, no class and indeed rude.

To the outside observer he appeared more interested in getting her money than anything else.

This of course is only my opinion. I will never know 15 minutes of fame, nor celebrity status, and I do not seek such.

David

Time is too swift for those who fear, too long for those who grieve, too short for those who rejoice, but for those who love
-- time is eternity.


-- Henry van Dyke

Anonymous said...

Ok Yu-Kym, just thought I shd point out.

curious cat

Anonymous said...

David,

Yes, it's important that if a person's reputation (whether good or bad) precedes him, this has to be taken into consideration if there is any intention to begin libel proceedings against someone. For a mistake in judgement here could backfire.

It's important to know oneself - how famous or how much of a celebrity one is in order to determine if it is worthwhile to lodge a defamation suit. Coz ultimately, both plaintiff and defence may emerge the "losers" and the lawyers the final winners.

curious cat

Anonymous said...

Steven Lim asked me if I would like to be in his talent agency too. I saw him quite a few times, but he only asked the first time. The first time I saw him, I had make up on and I was wearing prettier clothes. The rest of the times I was just wearing casual. Proves how much he's lying about being pretty and should be working in his talent agency.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous on Steven Lim,

What you said does not necessarily mean he does not still consider you pretty still. The only way you can prove your case about him conclusively is if you approach him and see what he says this time. His answer will be revealing.

curious cat

Yu-Kym said...

David, I don't seek fame but I seek fortune :D

curious cat, right... most likely the lawyers are the only winners.

Anon, maybe he "talent scouts" people who look like they have money to spend? do you look very different with and without makeup?

Anonymous said...

CC, nah. I'm not gonna talk to him ever again. The sight of him just irks me.

Yu-Kym, no, I don't think I look very different.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous on "Steven Lim",

You did right dear. Very wise.

curious cat

Anonymous said...

CC : HA! He shows people how he digs his nose on youtube.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous on "digging his nose",

Really? Who is this Steven Lim? What does he look like? I'm really curious now. lol

curious cat

David said...

Yu-Kym,

You have made it clear that monetary success is an important goal in life.

Perhaps you are not yet famous, but you are a celebrity in Singapore.

David


The beautiful thing about this adventure called faith is that we can count on Him never to lead us astray.


-- Charles R. Swindoll