Paul Tomlinson (pictured below), a friend of mine shared the following true story. Paul, who lives in Rush Limbaugh’s part of Missouri, is Regional Manager for a multi-state consumer services franchise. The following experience he shared with me is important for you to hear. I am recounting the event as Paul told it.
I went to a local battery shop in search of some hard to find power cells. As I waited for the items I needed, an older man came in carrying a white plastic bag. He sat the bag on the counter and pulled out a Black & Decker® 18 volt battery, and held it up in front of one of the clerks. The old man asked if the shop carried such a thing and the clerk told him that they didn’t stock that battery, but that they could rebuild that one for him.
The old man replied, “Well how much would that be?”
“That battery would cost $58 to rebuild,” the clerk said. The man immediately grabbed the battery, stuck it back inside the bag and said, “I can buy two of those at Wal-Mart for that price!”
Almost apologizing, the clerk tried to provide an explanation as the man headed toward the door. All he got out of his mouth was, “I totally understand, but with those new ones you will only get half the battery power.” The old man didn’t even acknowledge much less stop to listen.
As I sat there on the stool seeing this unfold, it really sparked my interest. I watched as a $58 sale simply walked out the door. Now I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t know anything about batteries, so to me one is just like another. For the clerk to tell this guy that it would cost him $58 to get a “used” battery rebuilt, when he could buy two new ones down the street for that same amount of money, raised my curiosity. Either there was something different, maybe even special, about that particular battery, or the clerk was just responding with a sour-grape, cheap shot to the old man’s backside on his way out of the shop.
So, being an inquiring mind, I decided to ask the clerk to tell me what he meant by saying that the old fellow would only get half the battery power from new ones at Wal-Mart?
Over the next couple minutes I discovered that this guy was extremely sharp, at least in battery-land. He sounded to me like he knew everything there was to know about them. I heard all kinds of technical terms during his explanation that just blew me away. I learned a lot about batteries that day and after hearing his explanation, it made perfect sense.
To sum it up, batteries off the shelf have 1300-1800 milliamps, while rebuilt batteries have 3000 milliamps. As the clerk explained it, the more milliamps, the longer the charge lasts. That means the rebuilt ones provide about double the run time!
In addition, rebuilt batteries are designed to withstand the “memory” that a NiCad battery develops over time. Boiling it down to the lowest common denominator, the rebuilt battery will last much, much longer. In fact he said they guarantee the battery for 1 full year! If it doesn’t hold a charge, they will rebuild it again for free. It didn’t take me long to do the math and sell myself on the rebuilt version. But as I sat listening to this clerk, I kept thinking about the old fellow who walked out the door without hearing the whole story and all these relevant benefits.
What I saw was $58 that just up and left the shop, basically because the clerk gave the price prematurely. He obviously knew his stuff about batteries. However he didn’t verbalize the features and benefits of the product he was selling before stating the price. Blurting out the price before the explanation was almost like apologizing for the cost of the rebuilt version. Then again the value registered with me primarily because I listened to the story.
Immediately I had a flashback to the sales team I am responsible for. I told myself that they are all professionals and would NEVER do anything like that…or would they? It sure gave me something to think about.
Then it dawned on me that I’ve done it myself. The old, “they won’t be able to afford this” or “nobody will ever buy something that expensive,” echoed through my mind. It reminded me that our job is to help the customer buy, when there is a need, regardless of our price. That day I recommitted to coach our team to present solutions to problems rather than just price services without the value. Shame on us!
————Help Can Be On The Way————
PLEASE SHARE THIS ARTICLE USING THE SHARE BUTTONS ON THE RIGHT
©2019 Robinson Training Solutions, LLC