Home > Ideas, Sales Techniques > Buying a Computer: Part-1 :: Cold Start!

Buying a Computer: Part-1 :: Cold Start!

computer-salesmanBought a laptop! Nothing fancy – just a sturdy, middle-of-the-road, Samsung. My son endorsed the purchase saying, “Good choice! We had the least returns and complaints for Samsung laptops!” He should know, having worked for a year with India’s leading electronics retail chain.

Before visiting the outlets in town I did the following:

–          Asked a few of my students – the young set should know these things

–          Discussed with a friend who is a Software Engineer

–          Checked a few online retail portals known for special prices and offers

The next step was to visit couple of good stores in town to touch and feel the models and maybe get a test drive too. But I was disappointed – the shops that I visited couldn’t demonstrate the model I asked for.

 Now, isn’t that a major gap in Electronic Goods market – most of the Camera, Computer and Smartphone retailers don’t permit you to test the product. They either have Dummies or show you a catalog. The products are in sealed cases that are opened when the sale is complete. How stupid is that?

Add to that a set of Sales Executive who know precious little about the products or the software applications! At the shop where I eventually made the purchase the Sales Executive who met me first had been working for that outlet for just one week and his previous job was with a two-wheeler dealership. Wow!

I probably would not have bought from this shop either if this tyro had continued dealing with me; fortunately, someone who knew his job took over and I ended up taking a speedy decision on the purchase.

But before I go into those details let me describe the scene at the store I visited first; it is a popular one – they’ve been in business for a few years. I had short-listed 2-3 brands for further investigation, but curiosity made me look beyond that; since I was already there it didn’t hurt to check everything out.

But the Sales Exec in the store had other plans – the moment he discerned that I am Mr. Middle Class and looking for nothing fancy his responses turned perfunctory and cold. It was not as if there were other customers in the store – I was the only prospective buyer in their large showroom. But after showing me 2-3 pieces he moved away to talk to his superior and left me to fend for myself.

I did the obvious …. I walked out. And you know what, this boy did not even care enough to take my name and phone number! How unprofessional was that? I probably would not have shared information after that experience but it was his job to ask. It’s as if he had not even considered me as a prospect.

The store had lost a prospect for good!

Why didn’t I just purchase the item from a website and avoid undergoing such disappointments?

–          Delivery Time for online purchases is a week

–          Still worried about the lack of human interface for big ticket purchases

–          The difference in price was not large enough to swing my decision

Maybe the concerns about buying things on the Internet would change when the online business gets better and more established – this is purely from the Indian context; so much hanky-panky taking place in the market. I guess websites are best for commoditized or low involvement products and impulse purchases – am not so sure whether customized products could be sold as well in this format?

The other thought  that I wish leave with you is that the lack of connect on the Sales Executive’s part had left me cold. He didn’t make an effort to win me over. I felt like a car in cold weather, not ready to go!

To be continued …..

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  1. Jamy
    December 7, 2012 at 12:08 am

    Customer Service at its worst…. I would not even hire him for back-of-the-house work!!!

    • JayadevM
      December 7, 2012 at 3:27 am

      I can understand that! 🙂

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