Sunday, January 02, 2005

The Hard Sell

Today Rod and I went to Jette's gym to see about this free 2-week deal. We sat down with Ron who asked us a lot of questions that I didn't see as being relevant to our fitness goals, and he didn't ask if there were any restraints on those goals, I had to volunteer that information myself. Still, I was okay with everything. I'm just going to use the University's gym since I'm already paying fees for that in my tuition, but Rod was interested. We toured the facilities, talked about classes and stuff, and then we went back to sit down. And the Sell was on.

Sign-ups are never easy. You have to usually weigh the costs and benefits against your finances and commitments, and in the end, life asks you to make a sacrifice of some sort. The deal they were pitching today was an okay one. But things went downhill for me when he pulled out the "and we just got "x" communiqué from higher up saying we could offer you this crazy-low deal, but we don't know how long it's going to last" bit. Having worked in retail and sales before, I knew where I had heard that before. They didn't know I wasn't going to join, but it doesn't hurt to have backup in a pressure-sale situation. Rod held his own by insisting that their options would not work to our advantage before we leave for Cancun. Any money he spent signing up now would just be less to have for Mexico.

Then Ron brought over Vimy. She's the manager of sales or whatever. And she puts in her two cents (Which is to say, advising us to just take the deal). Still, the mighty Rod would not yield. They tried another sales pitch involving addendums and payments. No luck. Then they pulled out the "longer term contract means cheaper fees" bit, but true, sensible, cheap man that Rod is, he held out and said, "We'll take our chances in two weeks time!"

You see, dear readers, Fancy is an extremely difficult sell on big ticket items. I don't trust people to begin with, and I trust sales people even less, *unless* I know there's a non-commissioned structure in place, in which case, I may be inclined to trust slightly more. If you want me to part with a lot of my money, you have to explain in explicit detail what the benefits are to me to do so. And what's trickier for the poor sales people is that I come with a very attuned "Bullshit detector". Do not ever try the old Fishing tactics with me. I can tell instantly that someone is lying to me when they tell me that X item is the last one in stock and they've already had other interested buyers approach them. I know how inventory works, and my response 99% of the time goes something along the lines of "Too bad, I guess they can have it." Because really, if the sales person was being honest, they would tell me that no, they don't have X item, but they could direct me to somewhere that may also supply it. Do not tell me these are the last pair of shoes in the city when you have 5 other stores in the city to contact. Because I'll just go to a different chain store altogether and get better shoes at an infinitely better price.

You will see no "SUCKER" signs plastered on me any time soon.


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