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Sales Training Bob
by Victor Antonio

The other day our washing machine broke down. Bad news. My wife was frustrated and decided there and then that we would get a new one. For those of you not married, let me simply say that when you’re wife isn’t happy, life in the household isn’t good. So off we went to buy a new washing machine at the local Lowe’s.

Entering the store we immediately went straight to the back where all the appliances were. There, standing near the washers was your typical Lowe’s employee wearing the customary blue and red vest that distinguishes them from the ordinary shopper. I'll call him Bob.

As my wife and I approached, we began explaining the situation. He said, “Give me a minute I’ll be right back.”

My wife and I continued to browse for a bit. I was eyeing the less expensive washing machines while my wife was eyeing the very expensive electronic machines. It quickly became evident that I would have no say in this matter.

Bob returned, looked dead at me and said, “What type of washing machine are you looking for?”

I replied sarcastically, “It doesn’t matter what I want. Talk to my boss (aka My Wife)".

Bob was quick to respond, “Sir, by that response I can tell you're a smart man.” (What a suck up statement...I knew I was in trouble :-)

He then directed all his attention to my wife and began asking her a series of questions. It didn’t take Bob more than a few minutes to sum up what he thought would be the best choice for my wife...the expensive choice I might add!

Bob said, “Well, this machine right here is my best seller. Compared to the other machines it uses 14 gallons of water, while the other use 40 gallons on average for a basic wash. Which means that you will get a Return On your Investment (ROI) in 2-3 years if you go with the best seller. Now I can show you these others, but again, this here is the best of the best.”

My wife looked at me as if to say, “Well, this is the one.”

Now, with a sales pitch like that, how the hell was I even supposed to respond? Bob, was presuming to be non-bias, but his preference was clear. A $500 difference clear, if you know what I mean!

Author’s Note: I love being sold to by a great salesperson. There’s nothing like watching sales' poetry in action.

It should come as no surprise to you that within minutes Bob was taking down our address, credit card number and asking what time the next day we would like to have the machine delivered.

Bob reinforced a few of the principles of great selling that I often preach:
  • Lowe’s is a reseller of many brands. Yet, Bob was pushing only one major brand. Not because he was being paid off, but because he believed in that brand.
  • Bob was “trained” well by the sales representative selling the brand through Lowe’s. How do I know? How else would Bob know about the water efficiency? The ROI? Good sales representatives who sell through “channels” train people to sell when they're not around.
  • Bob used one of the oldest sales trick in the world. “Wouldn’t you want to buy the best?” By telling us that this specific brand was his best seller, he was implying that unless we bought this brand, we would be settling for second best. And you know how much we capitalistic, egomaniac consumers hate settling for second best.
In summary, a great salesperson is someone who believes in what they are selling, knows how to sell the “benefits” of owning the product and leverages the buyer emotionally into buying from the best.

Damn that Bob...he was good!

Victor Antonio G.

Copyright © 2006 by Victor Antonio. All rights reserved. This article MAY be reproduced in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, as long as the author’s name, website and email address are included as part of the article’s body. All inquiries, including information on electronic licensing, should be directed to Victor Antonio.

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