A wonderful sunny Winter’s day in Cape Town and I got a puncture. So, having experienced less than great service before at local chain Pitstop, this time I ventured to competitor Tiger Wheel & Tyre.
The chap greeting me at reception, Johan, took time to consider my plight. He wanted me to switch all four at first, but then redeemed himself by restricting it to just the front two.
He seemed to turn his nose up at direct Continental brand replacements. Instead he suggested Michelin. His reason?
As we have them on promotion at the moment.
They still cost more than the other brands, but I knew they were supposedly superior to these (apparently including the other Yokohama alternative). Although I have a soft spot for Pirelli, they didn’t stock those, so I was happy to plump for Johan’s preference.
As I wandered over to the payment kiosk, I pondered how Johan had raced to telling me about the discount.
Then when paying the equally smiley Natasha, she asked me to fill out a form.
I was only half-listening, so had to double-check with her.
It seemed that part of the promotion was not just price. The tyres came with a 20,000 km pothole guarantee. These road blights are commonplace in S Africa, so to have any such damage caused by them replaced free of charge is a super deal.
Just as I was thinking Johan should have mentioned this, Natasha went on.
I was also entitled to a free speaker for my smartphone. And what a funky little gizmo it looked too.
Now I was consumed with why Johan had also neglected to inform me of this upfront. I was keen to ask him. Alas he was nowhere to be seen, and no-one could find him.
His first instinct was to sell on price. Specifically, on discounted price.
So many sellers do this. It is not restricted to those in retail. B2B frequently falls down this trap too.
It’s tricky to be sure in hindsight, but if Johan had rather led on the pothole swap-out (then the freebie) before the price cut story (or even perhaps, without that at all), I’m pretty certain sales would be easier.
In this case, the price premium for me was worth the extra guarantee and gift.
Salespeople can all too often get fixated on the price tag. There’s usually something else that proves a potentially greater emotional lever. And it must be used.
What else could be in your ‘promotion’?