It was a cold, grey November weekend, so I decided to spend some time lurking in furniture and decorating stores to see what’s new and exciting (I know, questionable behaviour, but I enjoy it!)
The search for 'new and exciting' was soon set aside because I became fascinated by the conversations taking place between sales staff/consultants and their clients. One assumes that the unimaginative sales pitches bandied about with so little regard for the individual client or customer's tastes and preferences must work or they’d come up with something better. But, personally, if someone really wanted to turn off my creativity and self-expression, the following ‘pitches’ would do it!
1. “This is very popular right now.”
That's the fastest way to let me know that whatever it is, I probably don't want it!
2. “Taupe and cream are great together!”
Yep, like white bread and margarine.
3. “If you purchase this set now, we'll give you a free microwave oven!”
This was offered to a couple who'd come in to buy a bed. Offer them a set of sheets if you must, but a microwave ... really?
4. “Would you like the extended warranty with this?”
That always seems to take the pleasure out of a new purchase. All it does is remind the customer that it may fail, break, or otherwise disappoint and they'd be well advised to protect themselves against that ... killjoy!
5. “People prefer wood floors to carpet these days.”
And these, 'people', who exactly are they? Will they also be living in my house?
6. “Buy the floor model and we'll give you a discount!”
This couple had come in looking for a red, three-seater couch. The saleswoman was showing them a brown loveseat that I assume her employer wanted off the floor!
7. “Don't you think that's a little bold for a bedroom?”
This customer had obviously not thought so when she first came into the paint store ... but she left after being shamed into buying a gallon of 'Winter Sky'. She was, however, told that accessorizing with bold elements would be fine ... phew, she must have felt very relieved!
8. “This comes as part of a set, so you can furnish the entire room in the same line!”
That would be great if one were equipping a motel or staging the set for a ‘70s sitcom.
9. “No payments until 2016!”
The idea of prolonged indebtedness to a piece of furniture whose novelty will no doubt have worn off in two years horrifies me. Paying for it two years down the road would probably feel far more onerous and unwelcome than paying for it now while it's still exciting.
10. “You'll like this; it has the look of granite without the price tag.”
This said to a woman who had come in and made it quite clear from the start that she wasn't a fan of granite countertops ... so, why on earth would she want something pretending to be granite?
If you have any ‘favourite’ sales pitches or strategies you’d like to share … please send them in. In the meantime, if you are out and about shopping for your home, hang on tightly to the voice of your inner designer and don’t let the sales babble boggle.