We are in the market for an in-ground pool at home, and we had a pool contractor out the other night to get some ideas and pricing. The sales call went “ok”. The sales rep was marginal at best. He was nice enough and my wife liked him. However, the problem was is he did not take the time to get to know who he was selling to. The reason I say this is due to the fact that being an owner of a home improvement company myself and being someone who has consulted with home improvement companies in more than 30 states, it is safe to say that I know many “tricks of the trade” when it comes to price dropping and discounting. This sales person never took the time to find that out and he shot himself and his company in the foot.
Let me give you a quick background. Not once did he ask me what I do for a living. He did not ask any questions that would lend him the knowledge of our knowledge as a shopper or buyer. He did not ask any questions relating to where we were in the buying process or our history of having home improvement projects completed in our home, or anything else relevant to making him an educated seller on who we are. This was his demise.
By not knowing what I know, he attempted to charge me sales tax on the entire pool project. The pool was like $50,000 and he was trying to charge me like $5,000 in sales tax…crazy!!! He then proceeded to tell me that he was sure his owner would call and offer a discount and probably drop the sales tax for me to help me out! LOL Are you kidding me!?!?! I then told him what I do for a living, and proceeded to call him out on the sales tax. He then agreed with me that the whole sales tax thing was a pricing game. So, with that said, he still told me that the owner would call and discount my project down to around $45,000 he thought.
So what happens next….I get an e-mail from the owner of the company offering the pool for $48,000… $3,000 more than what he told me…Unbelievable! After all of that, they still try to charge me sales tax after the sales person told me it was a pricing ploy. These tactics may work for extreme novices, but they are not going to work on most people.
Look, I understand the need to price drop and give pricing incentives as much as anyone, but you have to know that person you are presenting the price drop to and know how to handle it appropriately. I am a serious buyer, and actually I am a pretty easy sell as many good sales people are. However, this company has lost my business forever!
-The Sales Leader